The Spanish women’s soccer team made history this Saturday by achieving for the first time qualifying for the quarterfinals of a World Cup and also did so with a very good image, by beating Switzerland 1-5, in its best game so far, led by a sensational Aitana Bonmatí, and on track before the break.
The national team broke its wall in a great international competition at its sixth opportunity and finally won a qualifying match that puts it among the eight best already of this World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, the first objective. Now, he awaits the winner of the Netherlands-South Africa to look on Friday to stoke his dream.
The Spaniards appeared on the grass of a full Eden Park any kind of doubt after the disappointment against Japan. With a renewed and more offensive eleven, and greater intensity and concentration in all lines, this time he could impose his best football against Switzerland, a step, yes, below the ‘Nadeshiko’, but that had not conceded any goal. The Swiss, with only one shot on goal, at half-time had already had four, partly because of a huge Aitana Bonmatí, who offered her best and most lethal version every time she stepped on the area to demonstrate her quality and that her candidacy for the Golden Ball is not a chimera.
Spain needed to improve and did so from the lineup. Jorge Vilda surprised with a very renewed eleven, with a change of goalkeeper included (Cata Coll for Misa Rodríguez), and more offensive with Alba Redondo and Esther González in the attack, and Jenni Hermoso in the middle. And everything seemed to be in place after the setback against Japan when Aitana Bonmatí made the 0-1 five minutes after the ‘pi chichi’ of the League F brushed it.
The end of Switzerland’s unbeaten record should settle the team, but then came the unexpected mistake of Laia Codina, partner this time of Irene Paredes. The center gave the ball without looking where her goalkeeper was and the ball went without remission to the net for the 1-1 and in what was curiously the ‘best’ occasion of the Inka Grings team.
It remained to be seen how this blow would affect the mood of the ‘Red’. But this knew how to rebuild, which helped because it immediately retook the lead, with Alba Redondo again more ready than her marker to head the 1-2 after a center of an Ona Batlle that did a lot of damage on her side. The new advantage did end up settling the Spaniards, better coordinated in their pressure and with the defense without letting Crnogorcevic or Bachmann maneuver, who went unnoticed.
Spain took full command of the party. This time he found more gaps on the flanks and his lateral centers created problems for an opponent too hesitant. The match only had one direction and the best, and only, occasions were from Jorge Vilda’s team, with an Aitana Bonmatí increasingly present and who was scared every time she stepped into the area.
The second part of a transition
The Catalan midfielder showed her tremendous quality to make the 1-3 after the umpteenth center from the left, turned into gold by the Blaugrana, with a change of leg that deceived Thalmann. Despite the great advantage and the proximity of the break, Spain did not loosen up and before going to the changing rooms almost sentenced the duel after his seventh corner kick, a facet where this time he did carry danger, and with Laia Codina compensating for her mistake between a ‘forest of legs’.
After the passage through the changing rooms, Vilda did not make any tweaks for a second 45 minutes more ‘quiet’, but Spain concentrated at all times and that did not let Switzerland dream of the comeback with an initial goal. The Spanish team only conceded one shot, well stopped by Cata Coll, although it did not besiege the rival area so much and was saving some energy for what is coming.
Little by little, the coach was putting changes, with the debut of María Pérez, to dose the efforts in a duel already sentenced and where the best chances continued to be the ‘Red’, only awarded with the goal of Jenni Hermoso, who did not waste a hand to hand after an error in the Swiss exit to close a win that encourages a selection that next Friday will have a new appointment with history, already with less weight on their backs.