Juventus sets record for women's club game in Italy
By DANIELLA MATAR
TURIN, Italy (AP) A week after the world record for the highest attendance at a women's soccer club match was set, a league record in Italy was also broken.
Juventus women's team played for the first time at the Allianz Stadium on Sunday and a total of 39,027 people turned out to see the league leaders beat second-placed Fiorentina 1-0.
That smashed the previous record attendance for a women's club match in Italy of 14,000 spectators.
All tickets on Sunday were free.
"I had goosebumps so many times," goalscorer Sofie Pedersen said. "It was amazing to have all those people coming and cheering for us and singing the Juve song and Juve all through the game. It was amazing."
It was only Pedersen's third goal for Juventus since joining from Spanish side Levante at the end of last year.
"It's not really often that I score and I did it today. So that was amazing, I'll never forget that," the Denmark midfielder said.
Defending champion Juventus extended its advantage at the top of the Serie A table to four points ahead of Fiorentina and five ahead of third-placed AC Milan.
While the men's team regularly plays in front of a sold-out Allianz Stadium, Juventus Women normally play their matches at the club's training center in Vinovo, in a stadium with a capacity of less than 500.
The match was also broadcast live in Italy by Sky, which shows at least one Serie A women's match a week.
But, with the eyes of so many upon them, Juventus and Italy captain Sara Gama conceded that neither team gave the best advert for women's football.
"I think neither team expressed their best football because there was so much heightened emotion," the 29-year-old defender said. "I think that's human.
"Apart from anything it was a match where we were playing for the title, so they are matches which are already tense, never mind the fact we were playing in front of 39,000 people. We're used to playing in front of a lot less."
The stadium atmosphere appeared more relaxed compared to men's matches, with plenty of young fans in attendance.
Office worker Marco Ciocchetti, 51, seized the opportunity to take his sons Dario and Oscar, aged 7 and 9 respectively, to their first football match - and his wife Tecla, 43, said it was the promise of a peaceful match which prompted them to attend.
"Unfortunately you often hear of fights happening outside the stadium and we knew nothing like that was likely to happen today," she said. "It's a great atmosphere and a fantastic way to spend the day. The children have never seen anything of this sort and so they're very happy."
At which Dario piped up: "I'm more than very happy."
A total of 60,739 people were present at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano Stadium last Sunday as the hosts lost 2-0 to Barcelona in a women's game. In January, Athletic Bilbao said it set a European club record when 48,121 spectators attended a Spanish Cup match against Atletico Madrid at San Mames Stadium in Bilbao.
The record for any women's match was set in 1999 when 90,185 people watched the World Cup final between the United States and China at the Rose Bowl, which the U.S. won. At the 2012 Olympic final in London, 80,203 saw the U.S. beat Japan.
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Updated March 24, 2019