• Spain tied a lackluster victory with a goal from Marta Cardona in the final stretch against a rival that had a constant threat in Harder
  • Those of Vilda will now face the powerful England, on Wednesday the 20th in Brighton

Objective accomplished. Spain had to draw or win against Denmark to seal their pass to the quarterfinals of the European Championship and they did it. There was suffering until the end and the lack of aim once again hovered over the team. Spain dominated their rival, was without a doubt superior and had possession, but again they lacked effectiveness. When it seemed that the equalizer was enough, Marta Cardona ‘s goal came in the 90th minute , a substitute in the three games of this Euro, to tie a victory without excessive brilliance and without convincing but enough to fulfill. Vilda ‘s men will now face the powerful England, on Wednesday the 20th in Brighton (9pm).

Vilda opted for her most offensive starting team. If the slogan was to ally himself with the goal once and for all, the coach threw Arsenal with the 21-year-old Athenea del Castillo (Real Madrid) at the top and Mariona Caldentey (Barcelona) as a pivot to generate more danger. The bet was a success and from the outset Spain became the owner of the match.

Vilda ‘s men already imposed their game in the early stages, although the Danes’ idea of ​​the game was soon demonstrated, as through Pernille Harder they staged up to three clear scoring chances in just a few minutes.

There was a first approach from Spain after two minutes with a very attentive Athenea at the edge of the area, where Mariona Caldentey tried a very dangerous center that no one could finish off. She approached Denmark on the left in the 6th minute, after Veje tried to beat Ona Batlle , and faced with the impossibility, she tried a center that Patri ended up clearing .

After a quarter of an hour, Pernille Harder, considered one of the best players in the world, began to do her thing by sending a high ball, intimidated by the departure of Sandra Paños. In the 17th minute, Harder once again received a magnificent long ball, although her shot ended up being blocked by Sandra Panos in a great save from Barça’s goal. Denmark seemed comfortable, while the nerves began to take over the Red.

The first great goal scoring opportunity for Spain came when Irene Paredes advanced lines to almost three quarters of the rival field, put a cross to the penalty spot where M ariona Caldentey reached , but her header went high.

Athenea del Castillo had it in the 24th minute, when she reached the edge, outlined herself and her shot ended up in the hands of the goalkeeper Christensen.

Denmark defended itself with order against the attacks of the Red and had its greatest threat in Harder. Really, each escape of the Nordic was a capital scare. In the 26th minute, it was again a dagger as he reached the baseline and put the cross back but Holmgaard could not control.

Half an hour later, Mariona Caldentey had her second great chance: a good shot from inside the area that Christensen caught the goal.

Shortly after, there was a serious error from the Danish goal, which could not block an aerial ball and was close to being used by Athenea to open the scoring. They were the best minutes of Spain, a team with character, with dominance, incisive. Only the goal was missing, but it had to come.

Another good shot from Caldentey from inside the area was caught by the Danish goal. Shortly after, the goalkeeper lost the ball, but Athenea was unable to connect a shot to the net. And at the stroke of halftime Irene Paredes had it in a shot that slipped into the goal, but the central Sorensen took the ball at the last moment.

Spain went to the locker room with raw nerves and some frustration. She dominated possession, but without creating too much danger for a Denmark that was doing damage with the counterattacks.

Freshness and bite were sought in the second half with three changes that brought in Olga Carmona, Marta Cardona and Esther Gonzalez . She changed the landscape in attack with the Real Madrid players. 

Carmona had it in the 56th minute, with a shot from the recently entered winger who went wide after taking advantage of the rebound from the Danish defense. In the 59th minute, Cardona did not reach Caldentey ‘s filtered pass . The feeling was that of having the game under control but being aware that Denmark could surprise at any moment and that they were going to attack in the last minutes. It was necessary to find the goal to seal the ticket to the quarterfinals as soon as possible. Rhythm and fluidity were lacking to get unstuck in front of goal.

Mapi León finished off the corner kick to the side of the net and was about to surprise the Danish goal at 63′. Esther Gonzalez could not reach the ball on the following play, after Irene Paredes looked for the filtered pass from almost the midfield line. Spain was much more active.

In minute 72, Olga Carmona tried her luck from far away but cleared the Danish goal very well, which she rejected to the side. And providential was Sandra Paños, who played an excellent game, in one of the most dangerous occasions for the Danish team, after a great cut by Nadim inside the area that ended with the shot on goal, although with a great action from the goal Alicante.

In minute 84, Denmark came close to scoring an own goal. Mapi’s center was poisoned and the Danish defense in the clearance attempt was about to beat their own goal.

The insistence of Spain finally had its reward with the goal of Marta Cardona to break the curse of the lack of a goal. Great header from the Real Madrid player who put the ball on Christensen’s post. A goal in the final stretch to seal the pass to the quarterfinals.

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