In the first match of the Serie A Championship group play-off, Juventus Women took on AC Milan. Juve goes into the play-off as the second-ranked team against a Milan side who finished fourth, 9 points behind them. Milan has recently dominated Juventus, beating the black and white in all of their last 3 head-to-head matches. Milan has defeated Juve in both regular season matches, giving Juve their only two losses to anyone in Serie A regular season play.
A penalty kick opportunity almost gives AC Milan an early lead.
The early match saw shots on goal for both clubs in an evenly-paced match. In the 29th minute, it looked like the tide was going to turn in Milan’s favor. On a ball sent into the box, the Milan striker received the pass with her back toward the goal. Juventus keeper Pauline Peyraud-Magnin made an attempt at the ball but mistimed the move and roughly went through the back of the striker, awarding Milan a penalty kick.
Striker Martina Piemonte took the penalty kick for Milan. Piemonte has been crucial for the team as of late, exactly who the Rossonere wanted out there for a penalty. The Juve keeper guessed the wrong direction on the kick but it didn’t matter as Piemonte sailed the penalty high and wide right. The match stayed even at 0.
Milan seemed to have control for the rest of the first half, as the Juve keeper kept the club alive saving 4 shots on goal as the first half ended in a stalemate.
Juventus’ left wing breaks the tie.
In the 55th minute, the tie is finally broken by Juventus. Out on the left wing, Lineth Beerenstyn charges ahead with the ball, outpacing her defender. Beerenstyn angles her way into the left side of the box and places a low shot into the bottom right corner passed the Milan keeper’s outstretched leg.
With the match at 1-0 in favor of Juventus, Milan kept the pressure on the Turin squad. There were apparent holes in the Juve defense as Milan had numerous opportunities to put the ball in the net that was squandered by the outstanding play of keeper Peyraud-Magnin.
Through the rest of the match Juve held on to their lead. In stoppage time, Beerenstyn received a pass in the box and made a move toward the goal. As she dribbled forward, she got tripped up by the defender, awarding Juventus with their own penalty kick. Arianna Caruso stepped up to take the penalty and drained the ball into the back of the net. The penalty kick closed out the match, Juventus finally beating Milan this season at the most opportune time.
What’s next for Juventus Women?
Juventus come out of the match with a victory to start out the play-off round strong. As seen in this match though, the defense will need to get back to their usual ways as Milan seemed to be all over the goal. In bright news for the defense, Amanda Nilden returned to the pitch for the first time since her injury. Nilden came on as a substitute in the 80th minute for Juve. This is a great sign as we hope to see her on the pitch more moving forward.
In the other match, AS Roma defeated Fiorentina in a dominant fashion. Roma scored 5 goals against Fiorentina and only conceded 1. The two defeated squads, Milan and Fiorentina, will be facing each other next matchday. Juve will take on the lone squad that hasn’t played yet, Internazionale. This comes off of Juve defeating Inter 3-2 on aggregate to advance in the Italian Women’s Cup. As Juve has never lost to Inter, winning 9 matches and drawing 3, Juve will be looking to follow suit next match day.
Next Match: Internazionale vs Juventus – Saturday, March 25th, 9:30 am EST