VALENCIENNES – Barbara Bonansea ensured Italy a dramatic return to the women’s World Cup after a 20-year absence on Sunday with a stoppage time winner that gave her team a last-gasp win over tournament dark horses Australia.
Juventus’ Bonansea popped up at the back post to head home the winner having already levelled for the dogged Italians.
The Australians, tipped by many to have a big impact in France, had taken a first half lead through hotshot Sam Kerr.
The win puts Italy in a great position to qualify from Group C ahead of their next match with unfancied Jamaica, who take on Brazil later on Sunday.
“What can I say, it’s incredible, and scoring with my head as well, which never happens with me,” said Bonansea, who had scored Italy’s first two World Cup goals in two decades.