Italy won 1st place at the “Frecciarossa Cup”, which was ended in the swimming center in Ostia this evening.
The Italians narrowly defeated Spain in the last match of the tournament – 9:8 and retained 1st position. The replay of the 2019 World Championships final was decisive in a battle for the trophy of a three-day tournament in Ostia, since Spain and Italy had three points each before today’s game. Spain beat the United States on Day 1 (15:9), while Italy convincingly defeated the USA yesterday (17:10).
The Italians have to be even happier because of the return of center-forward Matteo Aicardi. Today, he played his first game for the national team after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Frecciarossa Cup (Ostia, February 11 – 13), Day 3
Italy-Spain 9:8 (3:2 4:2 1:1 1:3)
Italy: Echenique 4, Figari 2, E. Di Somma 1, A. Fondelli 1, Velotto 1.
Spain: Perrone 2, M. Del Toro 2, Granados 1, Mallarach 1.Sanahuja 1, Tahull 1.
Both teams started slowly and there were no goals until the 5th minute when Alvaro Granados got on the scoreboard. Spain had a 1:0 and 2:1 lead, but the Italians went ahead shortly before the first break (3:2). Velotto doubled the Italians’ advantage in the 10th minute (4:2). Two minutes before the middle break, the distance between the sides was just a goal (5:4), but Italy scored two goals from power-play actions and went up 7:4.
After a balanced third period, Felipe Perrone converted a penalty early in the fourth period to cut the deficit to two (6:8). However, Nicolo Figari responded by converting a man-up for 9:6. The Spaniards didn’t give in. They came very close (8:9) in the 30th minute. Still, Italy managed to keep a minimal advantage until the end.
Final standings: 1. Italy 6, 2. Spain 3, 3. USA 0.