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Spain wins the rooms with high doses of suffering

Marta Cardona celebrates her goal against Denmark. / JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP

European Championship / Group B

A narrow victory against Denmark shows the lack of gunpowder but it is enough to face the fearsome England in the next round

Jose Manuel Andres

He had to suffer a lot, but Spain will repeat for the third consecutive Women’s Eurocup in the quarterfinals, the minimum objective for this exciting team that has run into, yes, with endless unforeseen problems in the run-up to the championship. An ‘in extremis’ victory against Denmark that tasted like glory but once again highlighted the many problems in relation to the goal is worth a pass to the knockout phase, even if an ogre like England is now in front. And it is that the hosts have achieved a full three wins in the group stage, seasoned by 14 goals in favor and none against, so La Roja will need a much improved version in Brighton compared to the one seen so far to overcome their ceiling in the last two editions of the tournament and leave the English fans composed and without a girlfriend.

After the setback against Germany and despite the fact that the tie was enough to be in the quarterfinals, Jorge Vilda took a step forward in his initial approach with the Mariona offensive as inside and the entry of Athenea del Castillo, a bullet, from the side left of the Spanish attack. Curiously, Denmark, who only wanted victory, proposed a much more conservative script, appealing to the great talent of Harder, the Chelsea striker, something that almost paid off.

With the cards face up, Spain began by avoiding another goal against the start, as had happened so far in the European Championship, which is not little. Defending its territory as best it knows, through possession, La Roja was able to sail this time without the current against it. He harassed the Danish area from the first minute and avoided those turnovers that can be fatal through the opponent’s quick transitions. However, beyond questions of style, the lateral centers were the most dangerous Spanish weapon for a good part of the game.

0
Denmark

Christensen, Thomsen (Nadim, min. 74), Ballisager, Sorensen, Sevecke, Veje (Sara Holmgaard, min. 80), Karen Holmgaard, Junge, Madsen (Larsen, min. 74), Harder y Kühl (Troelsgaard, min. 58 ).

1
spain

Paños, Batlle, Paredes, Mapi León, Leila Ouahabi (Olga Carmona, min. 46), Guijarro, Aitana Bonmatí, Mariona, Sheila García (Cardona, min. 46), Lucía García (Esther, min. 46) and Athenea (Laia Aleixandri, min. 80).

  • Gol:
    0-1: min. 90, Cardona.

  • Referee:
    Rebecca Welch (England). She admonished the Spanish Leila Ouahabi and the Danish Larsen.

  • Incidences:
    Match of the third day in group B of the Women’s European Championship played at the Brentford Community Stadium in London.

Everything seemed under control until a long ball was enough to put fear in the body with the unchecking of the dreaded Harder and a brave but at the same time risky start by Sandra Paños. The error prior to Germany’s first goal has not detracted an iota of confidence from the Spanish goalkeeper, who is also very confident in blocking another shot from the Danish offensive reference. Good news under the sticks, worse in terms of the development of a game that Denmark had already taken over.

Just a header from Aitana Bonmatí to take to the mouth against the obvious sense of Nordic danger. He breathed restlessly on the Vilda wing, aware of how much is at stake with the pass to the knockout stage in dispute. Once again, a team that continues to miss the scoring ability of the injured Alexia Putellas and Jennifer Hermoso was lacking in gunpowder. Mariona lacked finishing instinct to define in the clearest in Spain in the first half, finishing softly down from the heart of the area, at the hands of Christensen.

Revolution from the bench

At least the break came between more positive sensations, the result of the territorial control that had been lacking for much of the first 45 minutes and the aerial power of Irene Paredes, a more than interesting resource against the offensive jam. Vilda must not have liked what she saw, because her team returned from the booth with a triple change and Athenea as the only survivor on the attack front.

The substitutions gave La Roja a spark, which was able to declare victory in a incorporation of Olga Carmona culminated with a shot to the side of the net. The same protagonist met Christensen shortly after, when the match already looked like a thriller. Without a goal, the sentence to suffering was a fact. Even more so when Denmark resorted to a bench of many carats. Nadim jumped onto the pitch to complete Paños’s path from appointed to savior, as the Barça goalkeeper took a providential exchange of hands from the attacker of Afghan origin.

That save was worth its weight in gold, even more than Marta Cardona’s last goal. Again with a header, this has been the case in four of the five Spanish goals in the European Championship, a long-suffering and last victory was achieved, which now allows us to dream of a ‘maracanazo’ in Brighton.

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