Real Madrid Femenino’s Marta Cardona and Olga Carmona started and Ivana Andrés came on as a substitute in the Spanish Women’s National Team’s 3-0 win over Belgium in Alcorcón.
Cardona patrolled the right wing and Carmona the left. Both created danger and got forward well in the first half. In the fourth minute, Carmona beat her defender with a quick step-over and delivered a cut-back to the feet of Esther Gonzalez in the 18-yard box, but her shot was blocked.
Spain looked to have opened the scoring through a great counter-attack two minutes later, though Aitana Bonmatí’s shot was saved. Spain dominated possession and maintained control for the majority of the first half.
Despite their overall control, the match was more end-to-end than we are used to seeing when teams play against this Spanish side. Belgium were compact defensively and Spain struggled to break them down when they got numbers behind the ball.
Belgium was also dangerous in transition. Belgium’s captain, Janice Cayman, almost gave her side the lead in the 11th minute. She was played through courtesy of a chipped pass from the top of the box and struck the ball on the half-volley. The post denied Belgium what looked like a sure goal.
Spain responded by tightening up defensively and putting more pressure on Belgium. Cardona almost assisted Carmona five minutes later but Carmona was unable to put her sliding finish on target.
La Roja finally opened the scoring in the 43rd minute. Mariona Caldentey made a driving run into the box and was fed through by Bonmatí. Caldentey drove past two defenders and lofted her shot to the back post, which found the side-netting for a deserved breakthrough.
Spain doubled their advantage four minutes into the second half. La Roja earned a penalty kick after Esther headed the service from a corner kick into the arm of a defender. Alexia Putellas stepped to the spot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.
As the second half progressed, Spain made changes that shifted the formation from a back three to a back four. Ona Batlle came on and played right back and Carmona was moved to left back.
Spain made it three in the 75th minute. Caldentey calmly played a pass to Bonmatí at the top of the area. Aitana took one touch to settle and another to set herself up before curling a brilliant shot into the back of the net.
More changes followed the goal. Carmona was replaced and Ivana Andrés came on as part of a triple substitution. Cardona was replaced in the 82nd minute.
The Spanish Women’s National Team is back in action on Tuesday, June 15 against Denmark. Kick-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. (Eastern).