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Recap & Highlights: Rayo Vallecano 0 - 1 Real Madrid; Primera Iberdrola

Olga Carmona scores a clutch goal at the death.

@realmadridfem

Real Madrid pulled off an absolutely massive victory at the death over relegated side Rayo Vallecano to maintain their fight for Champions League qualification.

Currently, the table looks like this, with Atlético Madrid, Las Blancas, and Granadilla all level on 53 points with three matches left to play.

Unfortunately, there was no way for anyone to watch this match unless you were live at the stadium. Thankfully, UnionRayo broadcasted live commentary from their Twitch channel and a few people at the game posted tweets and clips.

This thread from journalist Paula Martínez is about as comprehensive as it gets and account @wanhedatrikru also posted in a similar vein.

From this mishmash of live tweeting, video, and audio, it appeared as if Madrid were in the driver’s seat for the majority of the match, but really struggled to create concrete chances in the first half, with a violent wind making a heavy crossing approach difficult.

Toril seemed unhappy with the performance of his preferred eleven, which was lined up in a 4-4-2/4-2-3-1 shape; Esther dropped off significantly while Athenea played on the left and Møller on the right.

Asllani, Olga, and Maite started warming up fairly early.

After the break, Toril made his changes, with Maite, Asllani, and Ivana replacing Nahikari, Møller, and Kenti, respectively, presumably shifting Madrid to a back three.

Madrid seemed to enter the ascendancy after this, with things especially picking up after Olga replaced Svava in the 70th minute. Most of the audio from the UnionRayo stream consisted of the commentator screaming “YOHANNAAAAA GÓMEZZZZZZ” as the former Tacón keeper kept her side in it with save after save.

Eventually, the pressure told, and Olga made the difference off of a cross from Athenea in the 89th minute.

After an intervention from Misa and a defensive substitution (Lucía for Athenea; 90+1 min), the whistle blew and Real celebrated a massive three points.

This was, no doubt, a valiant effort from Rayo — a side that has faced systematic humiliation and abuses under president Raúl Martín Presa. They were once one of the great teams in Spanish women’s football but have since lived through a decade of fabricated obstacles and institutional self-destruction.

The team staged a 30-second protest in their previous match vs. Madrid to highlight what they have had to endure. Las Blancas stood in solidarity with their fellow players. You can read about that and what they’ve suffered below:

Also, check out this comprehensive article on the history of Rayo Femenino — chronicling their fall from title-winning force to relegation — and this Guardian report on the hiring of coach Carlos Santiso, who was caught joking about gang rape prior to his arrival.