Spain devours Switzerland again and almost reaches the 'Final Four'
The team scores 1-7 without its best version and Sweden's draw with Italy allows it to have a five-point lead with six to go
MADRID, 31 Oct. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The Spanish women's soccer team took another step towards the 'Final Four' of the 2023-2024 Nations League after adding its fourth victory by beating Switzerland again, which it dismantled with a resounding 1-7 in the Leztigrund Stadium in Zuricha and also be favored by Sweden's draw against Italy.
For the third time in almost three months, Spain devoured the Swiss, who close 2023 with a record against the world champion with 17 goals against and two in favor. On this occasion, he did not need his best version in a duel that he got back on track very quickly and that makes him caress the final phase since the Swedish setback gives him an advantage in the standings of five points with six left to play, so The ticket could be certified in Pontevedra on December 1st against the 'Azzurre'.
Montse Tomé opted to modify his eleven back and up with respect to the duel against Italy and included Misa Rodríguez, in goal, and Oihane Hernández and María Méndez in defense, with Ona Batlle moved to the left, while Salma Paralluelo and Jenni Hermoso entered the offensive front. The surprise was the absence of Irene Paredes, who was going to become a centenarian and who ended up in the stands due to a strange computer error.
Despite this inconvenience, the world champion started strongly and this time, unlike in Salerno, she got the match back on track very quickly, taking advantage of her rival's concessions. Thus, after four minutes, Oihane Hernández headed alone at the far post into the net from a corner kick that could also have been avoided by the local defense to make it a valuable 0-1 very soon.
The advantage was quickly consolidated by the national team, very aggressive in their pressure and without allowing Inka Grings' team to react, who conceded the 0-2 score shortly after. Salma Paralluelo deployed her power in the area to easily overwhelm two rivals and assisted well the entry of Alexia Putellas so that the captain beat Peng without problems.
The Swiss players formed a huddle to try to wake up after conceding two goals in just eleven minutes and the measure seemed to work. Spain was unable to continue its start, somewhat disjointed in its traditional combinative game, with little participation from the Ballon d'Or winner Aitana Bonmatí, Alexia Putellas and Jenni Hermoso. Switzerland then had good minutes, boosted by the quality of Bachmann, and Lehmann had a good chance against Misa Rodríguez, but he aborted it for the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
Spain was no longer able to do as much damage and its chances were a trickle, and although in the final stretch of the first half it regained more control, it got another scare in a good local transition. Piubel overflowed on the left side, but showed the problems at the top of his team and defined excessively across the field against Misa Rodríguez.
Montse Tomé did not change anything from her starting eleven after the break, but her team came out again with more energy and made the Swiss team very uncomfortable. The world champion seemed less erratic and she only lacked a little more finesse and speed in the final meters against a rival who was not too unprotected either and put more effort into defending than trying hard to score 1-2.
However, the Spanish team easily found the outcome of the duel at the Leztigrund. María Méndez, in another corner kick, made it 0-3, and shortly after, Alexia Putellas stretched the score even further by converting a somewhat innocent penalty committed on Salma Paralluelo.
Switzerland tried to cheer themselves up in a very weak second half and at least they were able to give their fans some joy with the goal from the recently entered Pilgrim, who took advantage of a ball into space and some doubt from Misa Rodríguez on her way out. The goal, in any case, did not bring much change in the script of the match and Spain had the best chances in the last 20 minutes, reflected with the double from Athenea del Castillo and the goal from Maite Oroz.
--RESULT: SWITZERLAND, 1 - SPAIN, 7 (0-2, at halftime).
SWITZERLAND: Peng; Crnogorcevic (Aigbogun, 62 mins), Bühler, Calligaris (Stierli, 62 mins), Riesen; Sow (Terchoun, min.86), Wälti (Vallotto, min.62), Reuters; Lehmann (Pilgrim, min.66), Bachmann and Piubel.
SPAIN: Rodríguez; Hernández (Carmona, min.77), Méndez, Aleixandri, Batlle; Bonmatí (Gabarro, min.77), Abelleira, Putellas; García (Del Castillo, min.64), Hermoso (Oroz, min.85) and Paralluelo.
0-1, minute 4. Oihane Hernández.
0-2, minute 11. Alexia Putellas.
0-3, minute 56. María Méndez.
0-4, minute 62. Alexia Putellas penalty.
1-4, minute 69. Pilgrim.
1-5, minute 72. Del Castillo.
1-6, minute 89. Del Castillo.
1-7, minute 93. Maite Oroz.
--REFEREE: Iuliana Demetrescu (RUM). Admonished Crnogorcevic (min.8), for Switzerland.