Let’s look for the good side: Spain is already in the desired Final Four of the Nations League, that quote that gives tickets to the Olympic Games. From there there is only one consolation. If you had to collect so many mistakes inappropriate for a world champion, better on a day like today, with nothing already at stake.
Because Spain went from winning to Italy controlling the game well to disappearing from the field with a hat trick of defense failures in just 20 minutes that the transalpines did not waste. The reaction, driven by pride, was not enough to overcome the final 2-3 which represents the first failure in the group stage for ‘La Roja’.
Nothing predicted such a collapse in a team that arrived on a streak of results and with a harmony that had not been experienced for too long. And this seemed to be reflected in a first part that was all Spanish, with a hyperactive Athenea del Castillo and a no less motivated Tere Abelleira in his house, Pontevedra, which looked beautiful with more than 9,000 spectators in Pasaron.
It was the first that opened the scoring in the 11th minute, the result of one of those overflow and finishing actions that make it so different and so fundamental. His goal could have been followed by numerous waves from him, from Olga Carmona, from Salma Paralluelo… But Italy escaped ‘alive’ after 45 minutes in which he could barely do anything but press.
It is difficult to return worse from a locker room
Everything fell apart in an absurd start to the second half, with Spain still settling in the field and without even having jumped the 11 players between half-made changes. It is difficult to justify, but we insist, better today than another day. In a play on the verge of offside – the VAR was missed – Giacinti surprised everyone and tied, amidst the fog and the Spanish protests to the Greek referee.
The Galician fog did not help Spain wake up and another improper mistake of a world champion gave Italy a 1-2 lead in the 57th minute. For fear of being hit by a ball, anathema in modern football, Cata Coll took a short ball, putting today’s centenarian Irene Paredes in trouble. The captain did a lot to get rid of the ball, which went straight to Giugliano. His cross, with the Spanish defense out of position, was half a goal that Cambiaghi did not waste.
He ko Spanish was total. With barely any time left, except to claim a penalty that wasn’t the case, Spain felt another shot in their guts. The 1-3, in a new defensive failure The corner kick was also denied by Linari in the 63rd minute, practically on the goal line.
The changes came and, in the absence of true control on the field, the pride of champion did come. Abelleira took it out again, who sent the ball to the crossbar moments before putting the 2-3 on a plate to Esther González, who did what she is, a pure ‘9’. There were 14 minutes left, just when Cata Coll appeared with a saving hand in the next action.
Nothing more was taken from pride, while the fog was getting denser. With the rush came local inaccuracies and Italian picaresque; There is no transalpine team that does not know how to play with the score in their favor.
With one last match of the group stage completely inconsequential, on Tuesday the 5th against Sweden in Malaga, the next objective already has a date, from February 21 to 28, although not yet. By then, Spain will have done half the work. It will be enough one more victory to achieve the long-awaited ticket to Paris 2024…and by the way, fight again for a title.