Las Blancas have had a tough debut season, so far, but have managed to turn it around of late. They picked up a win against Real Sociedad Femenino and a draw against UD Granadilla Tenerife — both mid-table opposition — before beating the worst side in the division, RCD Espanyol Femenino (whose best results were two draws in ten games), today.
It wasn’t always easy going for CD Tacon, though. Espanyol struck first with a set-piece in the 42nd minute.
It was a classic showcase of Tacon’s inability to defend direct balls into the box, but the goal also came against the run of play. As expected, the home side had completely dominated up until this point. Espanyol decided not to press (another way to exploit Tacon’s weaknesses at the back), allowing Las Blancas the freedom to build into the middle third.
David Aznar focused on attacking almost exclusively down the left. The ball would be zipped into left back Babett Peter, who looked for Chioma Ubogagu on the touchline. It was Ubogagu’s responsibility to turn under pressure and spray passes into the channel, where Sofia Jakobsson would often be running in-behind to threaten the last line. Kosovare Asllani frequently shifted over to offer support and sometimes dropped a little deeper in the left halfspace to receive between Espanyol’s defensive block.
It was an extremely simple form of attack that would make many a tactician cringe inside. Progressing down the line as your primary strategy limits your passing angles and allows the defending side to use the touchline as an extra defender. However, it worked for the specific context of the game. Espanyol were poor opposition and Tacon’s best ball players — Kaci, Ubogagu, Jakobsson, and Asllani — were all stationed on the left.
Aznar’s game plan produced a variety of chances for Tacon in the first forty-five minutes — the best, of which, was a point blank effort that Asllani sent sailing over the bar.
In the second half, Tacon responded well and scored, ironically, from a rare bit of passing through the center, after Espanyol coughed up possession and were exposed in midfield.
Thaisa received the ball between the lines and quickly laid it off to Jakobsson, who found Chioma on the left and burst into the box. The Swede got the expected return pass and found the net.
The equalizer gave Las Blancas a psychological boost and a set-piece quickly followed that saw Espanyol valiantly block at least four close-range attempts.
Tacon continued to come agonizingly close over the next 20 minutes, culminating in a missed one-versus-one between Ubogagu and the keeper. Thankfully, Tacon finally went ahead in the match one minute later.
Thaisa held onto the ball well in midfield before finding Babett in space on the left. Jakobsson quickly darted forward in support, got the ball, and slotted a pass into the six-yard box to mimic the first goal. Despite slipping, Asllani made no mistake and converted.
Espanyol tried to push forward more after going down, but only came somewhat close to another goal in the very last minute of the game via a shot from a tough angle. Other than that, Tacon dominated as comfortably as they had in the earlier minutes and even had chances to score a third.
The win puts Tacon on a four match unbeaten run and places them 11th in the table, five points ahead of the bottom two and the relegation zone. Aznar can be happy with that performance but Las Blancas have shown a tendency to let matches slip away from them through inefficient finishing and a defense that cannot make up for any mistakes up top. Those patterns almost materialized today and Tacon have to keep focused if they are to stay up.