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Women's EURO 2022: Italy vs Belgium match facts, stats, ones to watch

Italy and Belgium each recorded a home win in their 2018 meetings as they renew acquaintances in the final round of Group D games in Manchester.

Sara Gama (right), Valentina Giacinti (centre) and Manuela Giugliano celebrate Italy's win against Belgium in 2018
Sara Gama (right), Valentina Giacinti (centre) and Manuela Giugliano celebrate Italy's win against Belgium in 2018 Getty Images

Italy vs Belgium: Head-to-head

  • Italy and Belgium close out their UEFA Women's EURO 2022 Group D campaigns at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, in a fixture the Red Flames have enjoyed the better of in recent years.
  • The two teams are level on one point apiece having each come from behind to draw 1-1 against Iceland. Italy did so on Matchday 2 at the Manchester City Academy Stadium, following a 5-1 defeat by France four days earlier in Rotherham. Belgium took a share of the spoils against Iceland on Matchday 1 in Manchester before a 2-1 loss to Les Bleues in Rotherham.
  • The sides are renewing their rivalries for the first time since the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup qualification campaign, when both teams won their respective home games by a 2-1 scoreline, Italy going on to top the section and clinch a spot at the finals in France; Belgium would finish as runners-up before losing in the play-off semi-finals on away goals to Switzerland after a 3-3 aggregate draw.
  • The teams' last fixture came in September 2018 in Leuven. Davinia Vanmechelen (6, 35) scored for the home side either side of Cristiana Girelli's 30th-minute penalty equaliser.
  • Italy secured a comeback 2-1 victory earlier in that World Cup qualifying campaign, in Ferrara in April 2018. Janice Cayman gave visitors Belgium a 37th-minute lead from the spot, only for Martina Rosucci to level five minutes later. Girelli (80) struck the late winner for the Azzurre.
  • Belgium's two victories in this fixture have come in the last three matches, the other success a 4-1 win in the group stage of a friendly tournament in Cyprus in March 2017. Daniela Sabatino struck a ninth-minute opener for Italy, before Tessa Wullaert equalised with a penalty a minute later. Strikes from Elien Van Wynendaele (39), Maud Coutereels (64) and substitute Davina Philtjens (81) gave the Red Flames victory.
  • Italy had been unbeaten in the opening six meetings between the sides prior to that March 2017 loss, winning five of those.
  • Italy's overall record in the nine matches in this fixture is W6 D1 L2, the solitary draw coming in a February 1997 friendly in Oud-Heverlee. The Azzurre's Antonella Carta (75) cancelled out Christine Saelens' ninth-minute opener.
  • Italy have scored in each of the nine fixtures to date; Belgium have failed to find in the net in just one of the last six matches between the nations, a 2-0 friendly away defeat in Monza in May 2001.
  • This is Italy's 12th EURO appearance, a joint record with Norway.
  • Italy's best performance in the competition came when they were runners-up in 1993 and 1997, either side of their only failure to qualify for the tournament in 1995.
  • In 1993, as hosts, they were beaten by Norway in Cesena, Birthe Hegstad hitting the 75th-minute winner. Four years later they lost 2-0 in the decider to Germany, Sandra Minnert and Birgit Prinz scoring in Oslo.
  • Italy have suffered a group stage exit in three of the last five tournaments, reaching the quarter-finals in 2009 and 2013.
  • Belgium made their major tournament debut at EURO 2017, finishing third in Group A behind eventual winners the Netherlands and Denmark, who would also reach the final. The Red Flames' sole win came on Matchday 2, Ives Serneels' side earning a 2-0 success against Norway in Breda.
  • Italy sealed their spot at EURO 2022 as one of the three best runners-up, securing 25 points from a possible 30 in Group B. The Azzurre's only loss in the campaign – 3-1 at the hands of Group B leaders Denmark in Empoli in October 2020 – was also their first home defeat for over five years.
  • Belgium secured their place at only their second EURO by winning Group H thanks to seven victories in their eight matches. The exception was a 2-1 loss to eventual runners-up Switzerland in Thun in September 2020.
  • Against Iceland on Matchday 2, Italy managed to avoid defeat when conceding the opening goal for the first time at a EURO since a 2-1 victory against England in 2009.
  • Iceland's third-minute opener was the seventh occasion that the Azzurre have conceded in the first ten minutes of a Women’s EURO match; more than any other side in that portion of the match.
  • Italy's 5-1 defeat by France on Matchday 1 was only the second time they had let in five goals at a Women's EURO, following their 5-3 loss to Norway in 2005.
  • The Azzurre's four-goal margin of defeat against Les Bleues was their joint biggest at the tournament, along with a 4-0 loss to Germany in 2005.
  • Italy have kept just three clean sheets in their 34 EURO finals games.
  • Janice Cayman's 36th-minute strike against France on Matchday 2 was Belgium's first Women's EURO finals goal before the 59th minute.
  • That made Cayman the first Red Flames player to score at multiple EURO tournaments.
  • Belgium's Matchday 1 result against Iceland is their only draw in their last 17 EURO matches, qualifying included (W11 L5).
  • Four of Belgium's five finals goals have come between the 59th and 67th minute.
Women's EURO highlights: Italy 1-1 Iceland

Ones to watch: Italy

Cristiana Girelli

  • The 32-year-old has struck in each of the last two meetings with Belgium, including an 80th-minute winner in the April 2018 victory in Ferrara.
  • The forward was Italy's leading scorer in their qualification campaign for EURO 2022, scoring nine goals in her ten appearances – including a hat-trick away to Bosnia and Herzegovina in September 2020.
  • Girelli hit the 85th-minute winner in Italy's only victory at EURO 2017, the 3-2 Matchday 3 defeat of Sweden in Doetinchem.
  • The Juventus striker scored the only goal in the 2023 World Cup qualifying victory against Switzerland on 12 April – the Azzurre's last competitive international prior to EURO 2022.
Vision: Simonetti unlocks Iceland door

Martina Rosucci

  • The 30-year-old hit the equaliser in the eventual 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory against Belgium in April 2018, her first goal for the Azzurre in over four-and-a-half years.
  • The midfielder featured in nine of Italy's ten qualifiers ahead of EURO 2022, scoring in the home wins against Georgia and Israel.
  • Rosucci was a member of the Italy squad, along with current Azzurre defenders Sara Gama and Elisa Bartoli, that won the 2008 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship in France.
  • Her strike for Juventus against Roma on 2 October was named the Serie A goal of the season for 2021/22.
Bergamaschi on 'golden point' for Italy

Daniela Sabatino

  • The 37-year-old opened the scoring in the eventual 4-1 friendly defeat by Belgium in March 2017.
  • Sabatino struck twice – the second a spectacular volley – in the 3-2 Matchday 3 victory against Sweden at EURO 2017.
  • The forward scored the first Azzurre goal under coach Milena Bertolini, after just nine minutes of the 5-0 World Cup qualifying home win versus Moldova in September 2017.
  • The Fiorentina striker finished the 2021/22 campaign as the leading goalscorer in Serie A with 15 goals.
Women's EURO highlights: France 2-1 Belgium

Ones to watch: Belgium

Janice Cayman

  • The 33-year-old converted her penalty to give the Red Flames the lead in the eventual 2-1 defeat by the Azzurre in April 2018.
  • The forward struck five times in qualifying for EURO 2022, including a hat-trick in the 6-1 win against Croatia in Leuven in September 2019.
  • The first strike of Cayman's treble against Croatia was the Red Flames' opening goal in the EURO 2022 qualification campaign.
  • The Lyon attacker became Belgium's most-capped player in June 2021 by making her 112th appearance, surpassing Aline Zeler's previous record.
Women's EURO team-mates: Belgium

Davina Philtjens

  • The 33-year-old hit Belgium's fourth goal in their 4-1 defeat of Italy in March 2017, in what was her 50th appearance for the senior national team.
  • The defender has spent the last four seasons playing her club football in Italy, firstly with Fiorentina and, since July 2020, fellow Serie A side Sassuolo.
  • Philtjens became the fourth player to reach 100 caps for Belgium in the 4-0 World Cup preliminary win against Poland on 30 November.
  • The left-back is one of a trio of Red Flames players to have started all of their 16 qualifiers for EURO 2022 and the 2023 World Cup combined, along with Cayman and Wullaert.
Wullaert proud of Belgium display

Tessa Wullaert

  • The 29-year-old scored the equaliser in the 4-1 victory against the Azzurre in March 2017.
  • The forward is the top scorer in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup with 15 goals in eight appearances, including five in the Red Flames' record 19-0 victory against Armenia on 25 November.
  • The Red Flames skipper marked her 100th outing for the side with a goal in the 7-0 win against Albania on 21 September.
  • Wullaert, Belgium's all-time record scorer, struck two hat-tricks among her total of nine goals in qualifying for EURO 2022.