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Galvanised Gabbiadini backs Italy to go far

Published: Saturday 13 July 2013, 22.28CET
A blend of courage and determination underpinned Italy's 2-1 win, according to goalscorer Melania Gabbiadini, while Denmark's Pernille Harder has not given up the ghost just yet.
by Sam Crompton & Francesco Corda
from Örjans Vall
 

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Published: Saturday 13 July 2013, 22.28CET

Galvanised Gabbiadini backs Italy to go far

A blend of courage and determination underpinned Italy's 2-1 win, according to goalscorer Melania Gabbiadini, while Denmark's Pernille Harder has not given up the ghost just yet.

The scorer of the opener in Italy's 2-1 victory against Denmark, Melania Gabbiadini said her team harbour the belief to top UEFA Women's EURO 2013 Group A ahead of hosts Sweden.

The ASD CF Bardolino Verona forward also recounted the moments that culminated in her instinctive finish, while Roberta D'Adda pinpointed the unbridled unity that permeates the Azzurre squad.

Opposition defender Mariann Gajhede Knudsen rued her side's profligacy after Nadia Nadim had threatened a last-gasp equaliser, and Pernille Harder evaluated their section showdown with Sweden, which Kenneth Heiner-Møller's charges must win to retain any chance of reaching the last eight.

Melania Gabbiadini, Italy forward and player of the match
We played very well. It was hard today because we were facing such strong opponents who were very well-organised and possessed lots of quality. We took to the field with lots of courage and determination to win the game.

For the goal, I teed myself up perfectly, so as soon as I saw the ball had stayed low, I knew I could find the net. I saw it creep in and turned around, and I can't remember anything after that. I definitely believe [we can win the group]. We proved that we're a great side and now it's going to be another battle against Sweden.

We believe we can [beat Sweden] – that's what we came here for. It's what we want after this game and what we wanted after the Finland match because we played well against them, too. We believe [we can do it]. The win is dedicated to different people, from my friends to all my family.

Roberta D'Adda, Italy defender
It was a very hard game, but we played well and as a team. We were united and in the end we were able to get the result we wanted. We were all a bit tense to begin with and it was difficult. Then we found our feet and slowly we emerged.

Denmark are a very strong side and having beaten them means a lot. Things are going well and we're doing this for Elisabetta Tona. We're delighted with the way things are. It's going to be an even more difficult game [against Sweden]. We know all about their strengths, but nothing can be taken for granted and we're going to give it a go to finish first. Our secret is our unity, and then the coach has brought us his experience.

Mariann Gajhede Knudsen, Denmark defender
It's difficult to say where it went wrong. We needed to convert the chances that we made and then we gave them the confidence to keep going. If we had scored in the first half it might have been a completely different game. Italy have some brilliant players, nimble and tidy on the ball. They made it very difficult for us today.

We still created a lot of chances, especially in the last part of the game when we should have scored. I hope that will give us the confidence to do better in the next game. We know Finland better than we do Italy. They have a Swedish coach and it will be a tough game because they have improved a lot over the last few years. We didn't play the game we wanted to today and that was the difference.

Pernille Harder, Denmark forward
The difference between the teams was that they took their chances and we didn't. We started the first half really well and then from then on it was really up and down. We were told to keep going in the second half, keep the ball and play around them.

We needed to make them tire. It's very important to pick ourselves up for the next game against Finland and believe that we can progress. We need to believe in ourselves and really go for it. It’s easy to motivate ourselves for the final game. Right now I’m very disappointed but tomorrow is a new day.

Last updated: 07/10/14 3.42CET

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