AS Roma Women won the 2023/24 Coppa Italia Femminile thanks to a penalty shootout triumph against Fiorentina following a thrilling contest that ended 3-3 after extra-time.

The first half of normal time ended 1-1 with Valentina Giacinti and Pauline Hammarlund scoring at the Stadio Dino Manuzzi in Cesena, but an action-packed second half saw La Viola throw away a 3-1 lead which prompted extra time and penalties.

Having watched Juventus win the Coppa Italia two seasons running, Roma have reclaimed the trophy they won in 2020/21 and secured a domestic double to cap the 2023/24 season.

AS Roma edge the first half

Fiorentina Women’s Rachele Baldi and AS Roma’s Valentina Giacinti contest the ball. [@ASRomaFemminile]

Despite their terrible form, it was Fiorentina who found the lead after just 11 minutes. Uncharacteristically, Roma goalkeeper Camelia Ceasar played a loose pass which, coupled with a deflection and some confusion involving Lucia Di Guglielmo, found Pauline Hammarlund who slotted into the bottom corner.

The goal briefly invigorated Fiorentina who were playing with confidence, but the threat that Roma posed was evident. Giada Greggi was regularly finding the ever-dangerous Emilie Haavi and one of her crosses was directed up in the air by Manuela Giugliano before Valentina Giacinti nodded past the onrushing Rachele Baldi.

The Italian striker took a blow to the face in the process but she had added to her two goals scored in the recent Women’s Serie A fixture between the two sides, making it three goals in two games against her former side. That made it 1-1 after 20 minutes and the momentum was with the Giallorosse.

Giugliano came close to putting Roma in front and Fiorentina defended well to make sure they weren’t behind by the time the half-time whistle blew in Cesena.

Spugna’s risky changes fail to pay off until late comeback

AS Roma Women’s Manuela Giugliano with an unusual assist. [@ASRomaWomen]

Despite the momentum being with Roma before the break, it was Fiorentina who quickly scored in the second half. Hammarlund was played in down the left and she played a low ball into the box where Madelen Janogy, an ever-present danger in the box, was able to produce a finish.

The response from Alessandro Spugna on the hour mark was surprising as he took off Giada Greggi and Valentina Giacinti, perhaps his tidiest midfielder and most lethal finisher. Sanne Troelsgaard and Alayah Pilgrim came on, but they did little to break Roma out of their malaise.

Barring the occasional half-chance, the Giallorosse were struggling to lay a glove on La Viola and with just under 20 minutes to play, Janogy grabbed her second with many Roma bodies high up the pitch. Having scored two in the Swedish Cup final last season, she now had two in the Italian Cup final.

Then came the moment Roma were craving. With 15 minutes to play, Giugliano‘s free-kick into the box was met by Moeka Minami who just got enough on it to make it 3-2. It seemed again that Roma had run out of puff, but that was not the case.

As the game ticked into four minutes of stoppage time, Giugliano produced her third assist of the game as she hooked the ball through to Evelyne Viens who finished excellently past Baldi. It was Giugliano herself who could have made it 4-3 in the dying minutes but she couldn’t get enough power on her shot.

Exhaustive extra-time and penalties in Cesena

Roma Viens Fiorentina
AS Roma Women’s Evelyne Viens scores against Fiorentina. [@ASRomaWomen]

The contest went into extra-time and it was Fiorentina, despite throwing away their lead, who seemed to have the wind in their sales. Sebastian De La Fuente‘s side looked most likely to score, but Baldi produced two world-class saves at the end of the first half to keep the score at 3-3.

Multiple players were pulling up with cramp as the second half progressed and it reached the point where it seemed a mistake would lead to a winner, rather than a moment of brilliance.

The half followed the same pattern as the first, with Fiorentina looking the better team but Roma having the clearer chances. Viens showed remarkable stamina to reach a long ball and looked set to score before yet another Baldi save. Despite chances, penalties were required with the scoreline stuck at 3-3.

The decisive miss in the shoot-out came from former Roma midfielder Emma Severini, with Troelsgaard then scoring the clinching penalty to make it 4-3.

Fiorentina: Agard (miss), Cinotti (goal), Boquete (goal), Longo (goal), Severini (miss)
AS Roma: Giugliano (goal), Linari (goal), Sonstevold (miss), Valdezate (goal), Troelsgaard (goal)