The year of firsts for the Women of AS Roma rolls on. From the first match, to the first goal, to the first victory, and soon the first derby against Roma CF in the Coppa Italia, there has been no shortage of milestones for the Giallorosse this season. This weekend's victory over Sassuolo was another first; their first return leg in Serie A, and what a return it was. Down to ten players and trailing by a goal in the second half, Roma came roaring back with two goals in less than ten minutes, grabbing all three points and fourth place on the table in the process.
And front and center in that sweeping comeback was one of the club's best, brightest, and youngest players, 19-year-old winger/forward Agnese Bonfantini, whose second half brace led to Roma to a miraculous 2-1 victory over Sassuolo.
From despair to elation— AS Roma Women (@ASRomaWomen) January 8, 2019
The story of Sunday’s comeback... #ASRomaWomen #ASRoma
While Bonfantini didn't do all the heavy lifting herself—fellow Italy call-up and leading scorer Annamaria Serturini served up a sensational free kick—with two goals in quick succession she rightfully earned the majority of plaudits following Sunday's match. After lashing onto the end of Serturini's cross, Bonfantini would strike again some eight minutes later (38 second mark in that clip), receiving the ball near the edge of the 18 before calmly taking a touch, creating space and beating the keeper low and away.
Given her age, Bonfantini has had her share of ups and downs this season, but her creativity and athleticism always keeps her in the game, but if Sunday was any indication, she may have found her shooting boots over the holiday break, meaning she may have more headlines in her near future.
While scoring a brace and leading your team to a come from behind victory is all well and good, in the process Bonfantini checked off another career goal from her list, an Italy call-up.
A brace on Sunday...— AS Roma Women (@ASRomaWomen) January 8, 2019
Her first international call-up today!
Congratulations Agnese Bonfantini on being named in the Italy senior squad for their forthcoming friendlies against Chile and Wales!
#ASRomaWomen #ASRoma pic.twitter.com/JAykfK9zPV
While Bonfantini has featured for Italy at the youth level, making the cut for the Azzurre's friendlies against Chile and Wales marks a graduation of sorts, and fortunately for Bonfantini she'll find a few familiar faces dressed in blue, as Roma are also sending Elisa Bartoli, Annamaria Serturini and keeper Rosalia Pipitone to the national squad.
I can't pretend to be an expert on the Azzurre, but one look at the squad list features some heavy hitters, including Valentina Giacinti, Daniela Sabatino, Cristiana Girelli and Barbara Bonansea, four of the league's top six goalscorers, so it’s no guarantee that Bonfatini will actually see the pitch, but given that these are friendlies, we can certainly hope they'll tinker with the rotations a bit.
Either way, Bonfantini is trending upwards, and when coupled with names like Annamaria Serturini, Giada Greggi, Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini, Roma's influence on the Italian national teams may soon reach those lofty 2006 levels.