Spain’s round football disfigures Belgium on the way to the Euro Cup: 0-7 | Soccer | Sports


Salma Paralluelo, at the moment of scoring Spain’s third goal, the second on her account.OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)

Spain plays, Spain wins. The axiom has long ceased to be utopian or presumptuous, since there is no team or triumph that can resist the national team, capable of, always with its style as its flag, denaturalizing any rival and dismantling any self-respecting defensive framework. That’s what Belgium tried, to arm itself from behind to occasionally express itself on the counter, and that overwhelmed Spain with indoor soccer, as slow in its creation as it was electric in its resolution. Enough to explain, once again, now in welcoming the qualification for Euro 2025, that the ball, the match and even the sport, is theirs.

There is no team that disputes possession with Spain, always with the ball between their boots and defined by low play on the mat, I touch and I go, yours-mine, fast and diligent, catch it if you can. A style that has elevated him in the world of football and that no one can refute – with the exception of Japan, which with less than 30% of the possession defeated La Roja with four goals in the first phase of the World Cup -, a password that has opened the door to success. Against Belgium, a team that not so long ago would be understood as an equal and that is now seen as a minor problem, was no different. A proposal, in any case, that Belgium validated with its roadmap, since it stood with a backline of five, tight lines and hand in hand on the balcony of its goalkeeper’s area. Or, what is the same, he renounced the ball and the leading role because he understood that the ball was his private preserve, content with defending to go out on the counterattack, almost always with the electric Missipo as a spring and with Wullaert as the supposed final point, Well, no balls came to her in the same way that Misa, the presumed goalkeeper in Leuven and a spectator on duty, was not seen either. The Belgian patent, no longer copyright Because almost all the teams pose a similar challenge, it broke down. Alexia and Salma were too much.

With the ball at his feet, Spanish football began from the roots, Aleixandri in the first pass to connect with Tere. And from there to Olympus because Alexia received between the lines and football made sense, since the best scores were composed from her left foot, passes to the runs of the deep sides, walls with the always skilled Jennifer Hermoso, or catapult for a Salma Paralluelo that whoever starts running there is no one to catch her. It didn’t matter that Belgium played in a low block or made an effort to reduce passing lines, that they cluttered their area to avoid the shot; Alexia had the key to the goal. Although she wasn’t the only one because Spain scored first from the corner. The first, from the laboratory, with two arms up, went to the far post, upon the arrival of Aleixandri. His shot, like Olga’s in the extension, was one-eyed. But whoever warns is not a traitor and on the next corner kick Paredes went for the shot. Fortune – bad for Jenni Hermoso because the ball hit her in the face; good for Salma because she fell at her feet – made the first goal score. Dry shot and the net, Salma in the scoring version of her that she could be abrasive if her aim were better because she always wins one-on-one with the rival goalkeeper. Lichtfus, the best Belgian, made her goal small for once.

Spain’s fiery football provided for that and more, as Mariona pulled inside to accumulate the ball while Athenea stood out with her gallops down the right. In one of those, Alexia leaked the ball to him and from the baseline the backward pass was finished off by Jenni Hermoso with her right – her less good leg because she hits it deliciously with both – goal number 54 to become even more screwed as the best scorer in the history of the national team. Spain celebrated while Belgium took a breath, suffocated by running after the ball, then overwhelmed because Alexia invented a backheel for Salma who, this time, took the opportunity to define, to checkmate the duel with only half an hour played. It didn’t matter that Aitana was not there due to injury, a holiday without setbacks for the Ballon d’Or.

After the intermission, Tomé decided to give Olga and Aleixandri some breathing space, and give minutes to María Méndez and Sheila García. And nothing changed because at the first opportunity Ona joined the attack to send a cross to Salma, so that the forward signed a hat trick which shows that football and the future are at their feet. Also Belgium. With the job done, she went to the bench so that Esther González, who has goals in her blood, could score the first time she touched the ball, the work and grace of an Athenea cross. The same society appeared to close the game, to put the finishing touch, to make it seven. Before, Sheila García, with a header after a corner, celebrated her goal. Football of many carats and roundness from Spain, which has everything, the range of resources is not exhausted. World and European champions with the Nations League, also qualified for the Games for the first time, Spain has the finishing touch of the Euro Cup left to close a circle that was unimaginable recently. The path to the laurel began in Belgium – Denmark and the Czech Republic are the other two contenders – and she did it wonderfully, with Alexia as a lever and with Salma as a guillotine.


Belgium: Lichtfus; Wijnants, De Caigny, Tysiak (Ampoorter, d. 73), Kees, Deloose (Philtjens, d. 73); Missipo, Vanhaeverma, Delacauw (Blom, d. 60); Janssens (Detruyer, m. 60) and Wullaert.

Spain: Mass; Ona Batlle (María Méndez, m. 46), Paredes, Aleixandri, Olga Carmona (Sheila García, m. 46); Hermoso (Fiamma, d. 63), Tere Abelleira, Alexia (Maite Oroz, d. 72); Athenea, Salma (Esther González, d. 63) and Mariona.

Goals: 0-1. M. 8. Salma. 0-2. M. 16. Beautiful. 0-3. M. 30. Salma. 0-4. M. 47. Salma. 0-5. M. 64. Esther González. 0-6. M. 85. Sheila García. 0-7. M. 90. Esther González.

Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (Hun). She booked Aleixandri and Tere Abelleira.

Den Dreef Stadion. 7,123 spectators.

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