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Australia stunned by late Italy winner at Women’s World Cup

  • Barbara Bonansea produces match-winning brace
  • Sam Kerr’s first World Cup goal not enough for Matildas

In a city in northern France built on the twin industries of steel and lace both Italy and Australia offered performances that were equal parts tough and elegant. But it was the team dubbed by Ante Milicic as “one of the most improved teams in women’s football” that announced themselves to the world in Valenciennes.

In what may emerge as the clash of Group C favourites, it was an engrossing duel of cut and thrust, of rapier attack, and desperate defence. And while VAR, loping in like an unwanted wedding guest, threatened to have the most decisive of all involvements, it was Italy’s livewire forward Barbara Bonansea who refused to see her nation denied.

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