The AC Milan Women were held to a draw by S.S.D. Napoli on Sunday as the game ended in a 1-1 tie at the Vismara.
After Sassuolo had lost to Lazio earlier in the day (3-1), the Rossonere threw away a golden opportunity to surpass them on the Serie A table. The draw also means that Milan’s chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League are dangerously in peril. Here’s a recap of how it all happened…
AC Milan (3-4-2-1): Giuliani; Árnadóttir, Fusetti, Agard; Thrige, Adami (58′ Jane), Grimshaw, Tucceri; Thomas, Bergamaschi; Longo (69′ Stapelfeldt).
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Baldi; Erzen, Golob, Awona, Abrahamsson (57′ Errico); Mauri (69′ Toniolo), Corrado; Colombo (57′ Acuti), Tui, Pinna; Sole Jaimes G.
The Rossonere actually got off to a good start to this game as Lindsey Thomas fired a shot past Rachele Baldi and into the Napoli goal at just the two-minute mark. The team took control of the game and maintained possession for the rest of the half, but sadly, they couldn’t make the most of their chances. The two biggest threats for Milan were Grimshaw and Thomas who tried many times to double their team’s advantage. Unfortunately, their endeavors were fruitless ones.
The team would maintain control in the second half and carve out a few opportunities for themselves, but a second goal would elude them. This gave hope to Napoli, who looked more energetic as the minutes ticked by. Milan had a scare at the 76th minute when Kaja Eržen’s goal rippled the net. Fortunately for the Rossonere, it only hit the side netting.
Milan’s good fortune wouldn’t last for long, as, in the 86th minute, Grimshaw fouled Sole Jaimes at the edge of the box. Martina Toniolo then stepped up for the Partenope and scored a free kick with her left foot. The Rossonere tried to push forward in an attempt to grab a winner, but their efforts were to no avail.
In the end, the game finished in a 1-1 tie.
Coach Maurizio Ganz’s words on the match, as per Milan TV: “It’s a draw that hurts. We’ve had a lot of injuries in the past two weeks, and we only had two changes available to us today: Fifi and Stapelfeldt.
“We had some opportunities on the counter, and, especially in the final 15 minutes, should have made it 2-0. Then, they punished us with a great free-kick. We need to grit our teeth. We won’t give up, but it’s a shame because we could have taken a leap forward after yesterday’s results. We weren’t able to do so and will now focus on our next game.”
Milan had the upper hand for most of the match, as they outshot their opponents by a ratio of fifteen to eleven, with five of those shots made inside their opponent’s box. They also had 58.1% of the ball for the duration of the game. Sadly, they couldn’t make the most of the opportunities given to them. It was truly a wasted opportunity and one they’ll perhaps rue within the days to come.
— FIGC Calcio Femminile (@FIGCfemminile) March 6, 2022
Things don’t get easier for Milan from here on out. The team will play Juventus in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal next Saturday. Kickoff time will be at 14:30 CET.
Afterward, they’ll play AS Roma at the Stadio Tre Fontane on Saturday, March 19th. The start time for that match is slated for 15:30 CET. The Rossonere will need to pull out all the stops to ensure a victory against the Giallorosse and to keep their hopes of meeting their seasonal objectives alive.