MATCH REPORT | Outstanding debut for Spain against Japan in #AlgarveCup (1-2)

Parchal (Portugal) 01 Mar 2017
The squad led by Jorge Vilda beat the Asian champion with their key style: possession, rhythm, chances and goals. In two days, they face Norway

Spain sealed their Algarve Cup debut in Parchal, which in its 24th edition welcomes the Spanish side for the first time. In Southern Portugal, the most tourist region of our neighbouring country, holds the competition between international squads once a year. 

 The match kicked off spectacularly for Spain where Vilda's players pressured Japan 

The Spanish side debut in the tournament against a World Champion. Japan, seventh in the FIFA ranking, is one of the squads which is present in the final stages of the competitions in women's football. Against the Asian side, Spain showed its ambition and that they have a clear mindset for the EURO: pressuring the Japanese side, especially with loose balls. The result could not be better: Japan struggled to get close to Sandra Paños throughout the first half of the game. 

From then on, the game structure followed the character of the Spanish squad. Ball circulation in search of gaps among the rivals. Amanda Sampedro and Alexia Putellas asked for the ball near the area, goal-hungry. And on the verge of the end of the first half, unmarked Sampedro centred the ball towards the goalkeeper after a shot by Jenni Hermosos. Followed suit, inside the area, from the left side, the ball bumped into a defender on track to a clear goal. 

 Spain completed its great work with two shots in the second half, with goals by Silvia Meseguer and Olga García 

Once the match resumed, Spain saw its chances of completing their work and went out in search of a goal. The first chance struck the post after a far shot by Alexia. The second chance finished with a result for our players. A far shot, this time placed by Silvia Meseguer transformed into the first goal for Spain the Algarve Cup. 

Spain continued with the same script, ambitious against their Asian opponents. From the pressure of a lost ball, a ball Leila Ouahabi fought for created a chance for Olga García who retrieved the ball from a save from the Japanese keeper. That's how the second goal came about. With the 0-2 in favour, Jorge Vilda turned to subbing in fresh footballers and Vicky Losada came on for Sonia Bermúdez. The latter of the two who had a chance of a top corner goal, with a perfectly placed Spain looking to extend their advantage on the scoreboard. 

Japan, however, did not wait still and in a quick transition Yokoyama placed herself in front of Sandra Paños in the sole clear chance for the Oriental side and managed to decrease the distance - nine minutes from the final whistle. From then on, Japan attempted to reach a draw. Without clear opportunities, the goal never came through and Spain managed to earn their first victory in the Algarve Cup of 2017. 


Line-up: Yamane, Sameshima, Kumagai, Takagi, Kitagawa, Sakaguchi, Nakajima, Sasaki, Nakasato (Utsugi), Tanaka (Momiki), Masuya.

Head Coach: Takakura Asako.
Line-up: Sandra Paños, Andrea S. Falcón (Marta Corredera), Leila Ouahabi, Andrea Pereira, Ivana Andrés, Marta Torrejón (Alexandra López), Silvia Meseguer, Alexia Putellas (Vicky Losada), Amanda Sampedro (Mariona Caldentey), Vero Boquete (Sonia Bermúdez), Jenni Hermoso (Olga García).

Head Coach: Jorge Vilda
0-1 | min. 56 | Silvia Meseguer
0-2 | min. 70 | Olga García
1-2 | min. 81 | Yokoyama
Edina Alves Batista (POR), Tattiane Sacilotti (BRA), Mary Cristina Blanco (COL)
Matchday 1  - Group B - Spain faces Norway on Friday  - Algarve Cup 
 Bella Vista Stadium in Parchal (Portugal)