Mexico 1-1 Costa Rica
By: Kani Froh
After failing to qualify for the upcoming World Cup 2023, Mexico had another game of preparations for the Nations League that starts this fall. Three days earlier, they won against Nigeria with the result of 1-0. Real Madrid and Mexico’s captain Kenti Robles didn’t play against Nigeria, but she completed 90 minutes against Costa Rica.
Mexico took the lead in the 32nd minute. Kenti’s perfect cross from the right-hand side landed on Kiana Palacios’s head who put it in.
Kenti Robles @KentiRobles ➡️ Kiana Palacios @KianaPalacios— The Marketing Jersey (@mktjersey) February 18, 2023
¡Golazo de Súper Ki con @Miseleccionfem ! #OwnTheJersey pic.twitter.com/rC8ZtIZp1m
However, in the beginning of the second half, Karina Rodríguez pushes the ball in against her own team. The result stayed 1-1 until the end.
Kenti Robles, who turned 32 on the day of the match against Nigeria, got to play for her country again, but her efforts just weren’t enough to bring victory against Costa Rica. Mexico have one more game to play this February - against Colombia.
Australia 3-2 Spain
By: Kani Froh
Jorge Vilda changed up the starting lineup significantly from the previous game. The main difference between the lineups was the midfield. Against Jamaica he put up the Real Madrid trio; Zornoza-Teresa-Maite, while in this match he decided for a mixed midfield between the unexperienced Codina and Carro, and slightly more experienced Guerrero. The defensive line was almost entirely changed with only Ivana, the Real Madrid captain, being the constant between the two games.
The match started off on an exciting note. In the first few minutes Spain was looking to dominate the match but it didn’t take long for Matildas to take over. Spaniards had two offside chances, one of which was called after Arnold had to intervene against Hermoso. However, their luck was about to get worse.
In 11’, Courtnee Vine scored a screamer after a pass from Hayley Raso. It all went downhill for Spain from here.
IT'S VINE TIME IN SYDNEY! ⏰— Paramount+ Australia (@ParamountPlusAU) February 19, 2023
Cortnee Vine opens the scoring with an absolute gem of a goal from outside the box and @TheMatildas take the lead!
#AUSvESP is live on Paramount+ pic.twitter.com/dOaZxhtmb7
Four minutes later, the first corner of the match happens and it’s for the Aussies, which Raso won on the right-hand side. The corner is taken but not cleared so Aussies got the control back easily. Marta Carro failed to stop the cross sent into Spain’s box as Clare Polkinghorne was ready to strike and strike she did.
Polkinghorne makes it TWO for @TheMatildas!!— 10 Football (@10FootballAU) February 19, 2023
"The Matildas are on fire and Spain are terrified!!" - 10 Football's @Ronaldingo14!!
Australia leads Spain 2-Nil!! #AUSvESP pic.twitter.com/G7b5GGlaVw
Between the two goals, Spain’s Jenni Hermoso had another chance, which was onside, but was denied at the near post.
Spain dominated the possession and number of completed passes but weren’t able to be effective at all. They put a lot of pressure on Australia which game them a few chances, but all of them ended in vain. Later on in the first half, Australia started drawing freekicks to interrupt Spain’s possession flow.
In 39’ Misa had to intervene for Spain after Sam Kerr’s shot, but the action was called offside anyway.
Four minutes later, there’s the third goal. Australia win a freekick, and Catley’s ball finds Caitlin Foord who puts it in with a stunning header. Spain were in big trouble.
.@CaitlinFoord nods in our third!— CommBank Matildas (@TheMatildas) February 19, 2023
: @10FootballAU #AUSvESP #WeAreMatildas #CupOfNations pic.twitter.com/7tXYeeCpbD
This result called for an urgent change and Vilda decided for a double substitution, bringing on Shei and Fiamma for Oihane and Carro. The two players subbed out made some defensive errors that resulted in 2 out of the 3 goals Spain conceded.
In the second half, the Spaniards get a few more chances than they did in the first half. Their defensive line didn’t let much dangerous chances. Most crosses would be stopped inside the box, mostly with the involvement of Rocío. Hermoso and Esther had a few half-chances. Olga’s crosses would end up in Arnold’s hands.
Upto the 72th minute, all Cooney-Cross, Cortnee Vine and Hayley Raso got out. They all noted a spectacular game for their country.
In the very next minute, Spain score. It’s Real Madrid’s Olga Carmona who puts it in after Spain’s short corner wasn’t cleared properly. The strike was clean and straight to the point, just from the entrance of the box.
1er but en selection pour Olga Carmona ✅— Femmes Foot News (@femmesfootnews) February 19, 2023
️ @ParamountPlusAU pic.twitter.com/0kuauZCQID
Four minutes later, Ivana and Esther get off for Salma and Cardona. Vilda tried a more offensive approach, putting on two attackers for one attacker and a defender.
It worked in a way, as Salma Paralluelo noted a great chance not long after she got on. Spain had a few more chances but towards the end of the game they seemed to have lost control.
However, in 90+4’, Spain manage to score another. It’s Levante’s Alba Redondo after a cross from Marta Cardona who got on as a substitute.
Spain strike again in stoppage time!— Paramount+ Australia (@ParamountPlusAU) February 19, 2023
Alba Redondo draws one back at the death and La Roja will push for the equaliser!
#AUSvESP is live on Paramount+ #CupOfNations pic.twitter.com/XWkYq2t53l
Real Madrid’s Ivana and Esther played 77 minutes, while Olga, Rocío, and Misa finished all 90 minutes.