World champion Italy defeated the United States 17:10 on Day 2 of the “Frecciarossa Cup” in Ostia near Rome.
Tomorrow, Italy will play against Spain in the match that will decide the winner of the three-day tournament. Yesterday, Spain beat Team USA (15:9) in the first game.
This evening’s game was Alessandro Campagna’s 400th match as a head coach of the Italian team. During the middle break, the 57-year-old head coach of the “Settebello” received a plaque for this rare jubilee.
USA – Italy 10:17 (3:3, 2:5, 2:5, 3:4)
USA: Hooper 2, Bowen 2, Cupido 2, Obert 1, Hallock 1, Daube 1, Irving 1.
Italy: Figlioli 4, Luongo 3, Bodegas 3, Di Fulvio 2, Echenique 2, E. Di Somma 1, N. Presciutti 1, Dolce 1.
After the balanced battle in the first eight minutes, Italy dominated the middle two quarters, which was crucial for the outcome.
Italy started better and took a 1:0 and 2:1 lead. Midway through the first quarter, the USA went ahead, after goals by Johnny Hooper (penalty) and Luca Cupido for 3:2. But, the Italians answered with a 4:0 series and built a 6:3 lead (12th minute). The hosts even had a 4-goal advantage (8:4), but Ben Hallock closed the first half by converting a man-up for 5:8.
Early in the third period, Max Irving scored from a penalty to reduce the gap to two (6:8). Shortly after that, Italy regained a 4-goal advantage. Figlioli and Di Somma found the net for 10:6. By the end of the third quarter, the Italians stretched the margin to six (13:7). In the fourth quarter, Italy, led by Pietro Figlioli, earned an 8-goal lead (16:8 and 17:9), but Luca Cupido found the net eight seconds before the end for the final score.
The game against the USA was special for Italy because of Campagna’s jubilee, but also because of sad memories.
For the first time after many years, Italy’s staff was without Luca Mamprin, the physiotherapist, who died in January at the age of 41. The match started with a one-minute silence in honor of Mamprin.