Author Topic: Bardolino feel pride after breakthrough  (Read 1401 times)

Offline redrobin

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Bardolino feel pride after breakthrough
« on: October 22, 2007, 04:49:01 PM »
Bardolino feel pride after breakthrough
Monday 22 October 2007
by Paul Saffer from Borehamwood

If anyone doubted ASD CF Bardolino Verona's credentials after reaching the UEFA Women's Cup quarter-finals, the 3-3 draw with holders Arsenal LFC that concluded their second qualifying round fixtures was proof of their mettle.

Panico equaliser
The Italian champions were already guaranteed progress from Group B1 before the game at Borehamwood but against an Arsenal lineup containing seven players fresh from England's FIFA Women's World Cup campaign, Bardolino fought back from 2-0 down to level, and when Kelly Smith put the Gunners back ahead with five minutes left, the Verona side recovered again as Patrizia Panico equalised in added time.

"I am realy proud of how we played," Panico said. "We were determined to treat every opponent the same way. We are now reaching new heights and improving with every game. We will approach the next round in the same way." The striker was especially happy with their recovery, as they are used to dominating games from the off in their domestic competition. "We are not used to coming from behind - in Italy we are always ahead," she added. "We found out something important - that we have the character to come from behind. That is even more important than the result."

Team spirit
It left goalkeeper Anna Maria Picarelli predicting: "I think we can definitely advance at least to the semi-finals, if not further." The fact that the team was together for a whole week for the mini-tournament was a factor in their performance, the American-born player added: "This is the second time we've been together like this. Our road trips in the league are usually just one night. It really shows that the squad comes together on our road trips."

Hard work
Second in the group behind Arsenal on goal difference, Bardolino now face Brøndby IF in the last eight over two legs in November. Coach Renato Longega, whose team also fought back from two down to defeat SV Neulengbach of Austria in their opening game in England and then overcame Kazakhstan's Alma KTZH 5-1, believes Bardolino are in good shape. "We have been working hard at improving our game," he said. "We were honoured to be in this group and to establish how far Italian women's football has come in the last two or three years."

Brøndby encounter
Brøndby, semi-finalists last season, will provide another test of that. Panico, who has met many of the Brøndby team before in international fixtures against Denmark, said: "We play a much more tactical, creative type of game, they are more like Arsenal with long balls - they run at you, they beat you - but they will know they have been in a game."