Italy’s women may have lost their Group B opener against Russia this evening… but Ilaria Mauro did herself no harm with this exquisite finish.
The Italians were made clear favourites before kick-off, with the Russian side having failed to win a single European Championship match in their last 12 attempts.
However, it was the underdogs who managed to take all three points, after Elena Danilova and Elena Morozova gave Russia a deserved 2-0 lead.
Although Mauro wasn’t for laying down as her side stared into the eyes of an unlikely defeat.
Instead, the 29-year-old dinked the ball past Tatyana Shcherbak – a goal which proved a mere consolation.
Italy’s women have a fantastic record of reaching the quarterfinal stage of the European Championships, having made it through the group stages in 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013.
However, a painful defeat to a team ranked 25th in the world by FIFA isn’t exactly the dream start that manager Antonio Cabrini would have had in mind.
Nevertheless, they’ll always have Mauro’s sensational technique to look back at and smile…