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Athenea scores for Spain in the preparations for the World Cup; Women’s Friendlies

Six Madridistas feature in Spain’s 7-0 win over Panama.

Athenea del Castillo of Spain celebrates her goal vs Panama in the preparational match ahead of the Women’s World Cup 2023
Athenea del Castillo celebrates her goal vs Panama

Spain 7-0 Panama

Only two Real Madrid players started the match, Misa and Olga. However, they also completed the full 90 minutes of the match. Later on, four more Madridistas would get minutes in this encounter with Panama.

As the mere result implies, the match was a quick job for Spain. Six out of seven goals were scored in the first half where Spain started scoring from the 7th minute.

The first two goals were assisted by Irene Guerrero. The first goal was from a corner kick for Spain which was taken by Irene and directly sent to Esther who was very precise in her header. The now former Real Madrid player opened up the scoresheet for Spain.

The second goal was a chip scored by Putellas after a through pass by Guerrero in 22’. Six minutes later, Panama tried to stop Olga’s cross from the left side, but in the process, Espinosa pushed the ball in for her own team.

Another six minutes later, in 36’, Eva Navarro was fouled in Panama’s penalty area and won the penalty for her team. Guerrero took the responsibility and made no mistakes to make it 4-0 for Spain.

Two minutes until the halftime break came the fifth goal. Marta Cardona’s cross from the left side was a bit too strong for anyone on the near post but the far post was empty where Eva Navarro found her way to push the ball in.

In 44’, great combination between Esther, Alexia, Guerrero and lastly Cardona ended in the goal assisted by Cardona and masterfully scored by the ex-Real Madrid player, Esther González.

Aside from the six goals, another thing worth mentioning would be Olga’s match and her synergy with Marta Cardona on the left flank. With two goals to her name, Esther retired to the bench, to be replaced by Levante’s Redondo, and Guerrero with 1 goal and 2 assists earned her rest as well, for Maite Oroz to come on at halftime.

For the first 20 minutes of the second half, it seemed the game had cooled down. Spain was still trying to get the ball in. Alba Redondo had a chance that was cleared just under the crossbar by the goalkeeper, but no luck for Redondo there, or any other Spaniard for this period.

In 63’ there was a triple change for Spain: Fiamma, Zornoza, Rocío, and Athenea came on for Jana, Putellas, Codina, and Cardona. Four minutes after this substitution, the final goal of the game arrived. The goal was produced by the two substitutes that had come on in this window.

The seventh goal came from a brilliant combination between Fiamma and Athenea for Fiamma to attempt to send the ball to the center of the penalty area where Maite was positioned. She tried to shoot but her attempt bounced off a defender’s foot back to Athenea who took her chance and sent it into the upper part of the net.

Misa and Olga played the whole match without much need for defending. However, Olga was busy in attack and gave a fantastic performance, as well as captained her country for the entire second half after Guerrero was subbed off. Maite provided great quality in the midfield for the whole 45 minutes of the second half, as well as Zornoza for the 27 minutes she was on the pitch. Athenea had one goal in her 27 minutes. Finally, Rocío’s 27 minutes weren’t busy as she didn’t have to do much in the back.

The final list for the world cup will be out tomorrow, June 30th, in which we find out how many Madridistas are going to the tournament.

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