Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #220: Italy v Venezuela

Arriving in the first batch of fixtures from this international break, our latest Framed instalment saw us taking in Italy’s first trip Stateside in almost 20 years. Their opponents were Venezuela, who weren’t at the Chase Stadium to role over on ceremony. Italy had a game on their hands…

Italy and Italians have a strong connection to the United States, although in a footballing sense their memories may not be all that fond. Back in 1994, when USA were the hosts of the World Cup, the Azzurri made it all the way to the final. More than that, in fact, they took Brazil all the way to a penalty shootout, where their talisman – il Divine Cordino, Roberto Baggio – blazed his spot kick over the crossbar to hand the trophy to the Seleçao. Thirty years since that moment and almost 19 years since the June 2005 match against Ecuador, Italy returned to the United States for two friendly matches.

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Decked out in their new adidas away shirt for Euro 2024, their first opponents were Venezuela, who used the fixture as preparation for their participation in Copa America 2024. The game took place with South of Florida as a backdrop, and a vibrant Chase Stadium witnessed quite the game. The energy of the fans from both teams was electrifying, with the stands decorated in a sea of blue and maroon jerseys, representing the Azzurri and La Vinotinto.

From the off there was a huge penalty save from goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the 3rd minute. Despite that start, it took until the 40th minute for the deadlock to be broken, the Italians netting the first goal through forward Mateo Retegui. Venezuela levelled only three minutes later though, with a goal from attacker Darwin Machís that sent Venezuela fans in the stands into raptures. Italian fans got the last laugh, however, when Retegui secured the winning goal of the night in the 80th minute. 

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Photography by Daniel Zuliani for SoccerBible.

Daniel Jones

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