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Italy beats China 2-0 to reach World Cup quarterfinals

Italy's Valentina Giacinti, center, celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy...
Italy players celebrate at the end of the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and China at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, Fra...
China's Wu Haiyan, left, vies for the ball with Italy's Aurora Galli during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and China at ...
Italy's Valentina Giacinti, left, runs with the ball next to China defenders during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and C...
Italy's Elisa Bartoli, right, jumps over China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng, second right, just before Italy's Valentina Giacinti scored the opening goal d...
Italy's Valentina Giacinti, second right, celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between...
Italy's Aurora Galli, left, is congratulated by Italy head coach Milena Bertolini after scoring their side's second goal during the Women's World Cup ...

Italy's Valentina Giacinti, center, celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy...

Italy players celebrate at the end of the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and China at Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, Fra...

China's Wu Haiyan, left, vies for the ball with Italy's Aurora Galli during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and China at ...

Italy's Valentina Giacinti, left, runs with the ball next to China defenders during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Italy and C...

Italy's Elisa Bartoli, right, jumps over China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng, second right, just before Italy's Valentina Giacinti scored the opening goal d...

Italy's Valentina Giacinti, second right, celebrates after scoring her side's first goal during the Women's World Cup round of 16 soccer match between...

Italy's Aurora Galli, left, is congratulated by Italy head coach Milena Bertolini after scoring their side's second goal during the Women's World Cup ...

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Valentina Giacinti and Aurora Galli scored and Italy earned its first appearance in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup since 1991 after beating China 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Giacinti created and finished off her 15th-minute opener before Galli's long strike put the result beyond doubt four minutes after halftime at the stiflingly hot Stade de la Mosson.

Playing in its first World Cup in 20 years, Italy has proven to be one of the revelations of the tournament by making the final eight after having won its group ahead of heavyweights Brazil and Australia.

China had only allowed one goal in its three group stage games but the talented Italian attack broke down the vaunted defense.

Galli scored after coming on to replace striker Cristina Girelli, who walked off the field late in the first half with an apparent leg problem.

Italy will play either Japan or the Netherlands on Saturday in Valenciennes.

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Updated : 2021-01-26 05:55 GMT+08:00