Tacón finished 2019 with a loss, but still feeling a lot stronger than they did just two months ago. It was their first defeat in seven games and they faced defending league champion, Atlético de Madrid. Despite the loss, it really did feel like the team was coming together, and beating Sevilla in Valdebebas tonight was expected. When the squad list was announced, news broke that Swedish attackers Asllani and Jakobsson were unable to play due to illness. Sofia Jakobsson is the backbone of their attacking strategy and had played every single minute until this game.
Aznar chose his customary 4-4-2 with canterana Ariana Arias making her first appearance in the starting XI. Aurélie Kaci and Ana Valles were back after sustaining injuries in the latest fixtures of 2019. When Tacón went up 3 - 1, Ariana was subbed off for captain Malena Ortiz and the team showed a more defensive 4-5-1 formation.
However, Tacón started the game suffering through the first few minutes. Sevilla struck early with a brilliant shot by Payne in the ninth minute. This was a classic counterattacking play through the right flank from Sevilla. For the next few minutes it didn’t seem like Tacón would be able to turn it around until, in the 20th minute, Jessica Martínez was awarded a penalty and Lorena netted it. Las blancas still looked unsure in possession but they tested the goalkeeper with some good shots. Cata Coll, a FC Barcelona loanee, made some impressive saves that prevented Tacón from scoring.
We saw Chioma Ubogagu take charge of the attacking duties that Jakobsson had performed in all previous games. She forced an own goal before the end of the first half and then scored in the 60th minute. She was assisted by Lorena Navarro, who showed very good quality and ball progression throughout the match.
¡BOOM! ⚽ @ChiAlreadyKnow #GoTACON | #PrimeraIberdrola pic.twitter.com/6s0r3IgT5f— CD TACON (@CD_Tacon) January 4, 2020
Once Tacón got the advantage, the team stopped trying to attack in transition and favoured slower, more structured build-ups. Las Blancas dominated the second half and managed to score two more goals in the dying minutes of the game. Ohale headed a corner kick in the 86th minute, and Gema Prieto finished off a beautiful play in combination with Lorena and Patri Carballo in injury time. This goal is especially good news. The team is usually too reliant on individual skill and doesn’t display much combination play, so this goal is especially good news as it shows that they’re slowly developing partnerships.
It was an overall good defensive performance as a team. Aurélie Kaci stands out as a total game-changer, making countless recoveries all over the pitch. It makes one wonder what would have happened against Rayo Vallecano and Atleti had she been fit to play. Ainoa Campo continued her streak of impressive performances as a center back, showcasing once again very disciplined positioning which led her to the interception that set up Ubogagu’s brace. Goalkeeper Ana Valles is still having some trouble clearing corner kicks, but she made some good saves that balance her overall performance.
All in all, Tacón could not have asked for a better start to 2020. This victory is especially important for the team, which has shown that it is capable of facing a mid-table opponent without its two highest quality players.
Tacón are now ninth in the Liga Iberdrola standings and will be facing Barça in Valdebebas next Saturday January 11th, at 16:30 CET.