14th-placed CD Tacon hosted 13th-placed Real Betis on the 8th matchday of the Primera Iberdrola season. Tacon had to make do without key players Kosovare Asllani, Thaisa, and Osinachi Ohale due to injury, but, with only one win in their last seven and given the opponent, this was an absolute must-win for David Aznar’s women. Unfortunately, despite having the majority of the chances, Tacon had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Here are some quick thoughts on what transpired (Jess Houwen has your back for the more detailed match report):
- For the fifteen or so minutes that CD Tacon pressed high in a player-to-player scheme, they absolutely dominated the game. Betis were not comfortable playing out from the back and their 4-2-3-1 formation made it difficult for them to create overloads against Tacon’s 4-4-2 defensive structure. As a result, Tacon fashioned turnovers and both Lorena Navarro and Chioma Ubogagu got good chances to put their side in front, with Chioma striking the post in the 12th minute.
- Other than a solitary vertical pass that found its way all the way to goalkeeper Ana Valles, Betis did not threaten at all as long as Tacon tried to win the ball back from a high block. Hence, it was a big surprise to see the press fade after the opening exchanges. Once that happened, Betis got chances to play the ball into midfield and the game devolved into an ugly mess of physical, fifty-fifty challenges.
- The deeper that Tacon have to start play, the more they struggle — this much is indisputable about David Aznar’s team and it is unlikely that it will change this season. They lack quality ball progressors at the back and technicians in midfield, meaning that forwards Sofia Jakobsson and Jessica Martínez were starved of service in the first half.
- CD Tacon’s defensive organization was a mess after the press faded. There was a severe lack of communication between the defensive and midfield lines and it seemed all too easy for Tacon’s entire structure to become congested on one flank, leaving the far side completely open. In the 34th minute, it cost them:
- The second half saw no improvements in Tacon’s defending but saw an inspired Sofia Jakobsson performance. The same chaotic nature of the match reigned, but, this time, Tacon were able to direct enough passes to the wings (Jakobsson popped up everywhere, but primarily on the left) that Jakobsson had a handful of opportunities to dribble at multiple defenders on the break. One of those moments saw her produce a piece of magic:
Qué jugador @JakobssonSofia pic.twitter.com/JVES8AFeAL— Managing Madrid (@managingmadrid) November 3, 2019
- But Jakobsson’s most decisive moment came earlier, when she won a foul that allowed Chioma to step up and take a free-kick. Tacon’s #18 floated a delightful cross into the box that was met by the head of Babett Peter, creating the equalizer.
⚽ ¡Bonito testarazo de Babett Peter para poner el empate en el luminoso!#GoTACON | #PrimeraIberdrola pic.twitter.com/e4JhyNtqU7— CD TACON (@CD_Tacon) November 3, 2019
- Chioma had another chance to make her mark in the final seconds of the game, when she went one-versus-one with a defender on the counter, but her shot was poor.
- At the end of the day, Tacon did enough to win but it was still a worrying performance against a level of opponent they really have to beat if they want to stay up this season. The defensive organization was inexcusably bad after the first fifteen minutes and there was a massive overreliance on Jakobsson to create things by herself.
- CD Tacon now sit 15th in the Primera Iberdrola, having collected only five points out of the available twenty-four.
- Here is a link to the full match replay.