Belgium vs. Spain
Match #26/Cross-Over Match
6.00 Push Back
Here we are, the first of the knock out games and this cross-over game sees two evenly matched teams playing each other. If the scores are even after 60 minutes, then we will see the first of the penalty shootouts at this World Cup. Belgium are dressed in their traditional red kit, with Spain in their change off all white.
Five minutes have been played and still no shot on goal. The two sides are seemingly not looking to risk going behind at this stage. The Belgium drummer is back, this time in the West Stand. In the twelfth minute Belgium’s Judith Vandermeiren takes a knock to the shoulder, but she’s tough and carries on. With a minute remaining Spain get a shot tapped away by Aisling D’Hooghe, followed by another shortly afterwards, but the ball eventually goes out of play for a hit out to the Red Panthers. At the end of the first period it’s 0 – 0
In the fourth minute of the second period Spain’s captain Georgina Oliva passes out to the right. Her team mate picks it up and smashes it into the circle. Stephanie van den Borre takes hard blow to the body and limps for a bit. There is a check for a dangerous ball and Belgium win a free hit. An over head smash from the Belgian captain Anouk Raes, in the circle, is saved well by Maria Ruiz. Soon afterwards, they find a Spanish foot in the circle and get a short corner, but the Spanish decide to use their video referral. The advice is that there is no foot and the Red Sticks get the hit out.
After six minutes, Georgina Oliva is shown a green card. Belgium are having the better of this quarter. In the tenth minute, there is a collision between Stephanie van den Borre and Carola Salvatella, who gets an elbow in the mouth, but it looked accidentally on the replay. Shortly afterwards, Lola Riera gets a ball in the face.
With time running out in the the first half, Spain get their first short corner of the match. A poor trap from the Alicia Magaz sees a turnover in possession. In the fourteenth minute we see a nice move from Belgium with Louise Versavel playing into Anouk Raes inside the circle, who then wins a short corner. van den Borre takes the shot, which is blocked she tries again and give away another short corner.Christina Guinea took a blow to the ankle in this last phase and it looks serious for Spanish number 11. She limps off the pitch in a fair amount of pain.The short corner is taken and the shot is brilliantly blocked by Begona Garcia. Just before the hooter Rocio Gutierrez receives the ball on the right hand of the Belgium circle. She looks to centre it for her team mate, but the pass is cut out by D’Hoooghe. At half time the score remains 0 – 0.
Five minutes after the restart the ball is centred into the circle, but Lola Reira can’t make a good connection with it. In the sixth minute we see a short corner awarded for Spain. The drag flick goes over the bar. Georgina Oliva is shown a yellow card, her second card of the game, for a rough challenge on Barbare Nelen. No goals in this period, with very few chances created by either team. There has only been two Spanish shots on goal and one from Belgium in open play.
Not much to say about the fourth quarter. It’s been a bit flat. The defenders have been closing things out. In the ninth minute, the Belgium team win a short corner, after the Spanish defender is viewed to have played the ball into her own stomach, but it is referred. The advice is that there is no reason to change the decision. To be honest the replay showed it might of bounced off a Belgium stick into her body and the award of a set piece is maybe a bit harsh. van den Borre shoots, it’s saved. The rebound is blocked and Spain counter attack. Before they get too far the ball carrier is fouled and Belgium manage to get bodies behind the ball and stop the attack from reaching the circle. In the eleventh minute Garcia takes a shot, but it’s blocked by the Belgian defender. 0 – 0 at full time and the game to goes to penalty shuffles.
Belgium miss first, score their second through Louise Versavel. Spains second penalty is taken by Beatriz Perez, who is fouled and Lola Reia equalises from the resulting penalty stroke. Both reams are now one for two. Stephanie van den Borre hits the post for Belgium. Alicia Magaz doesn’t get behind her reverse well enough and cleared. One from three for both sides. Anouk Raes now steps up. She tries to spin the Spanish keeper, but misses. Berta Bonastre’s shot is saved, but the umpire says that D’Hooghe smothered the ball and this is appealed.The retake is given and Bonastre scores after a rebound. Pauline Leclef of Belgium now has to score and she does. 2 – 2, but spain now have a chance to win it, with their fifth. Lola Reira, initially hits it at the keeper looking for the nut meg, and then hits the rebound wide. We go to sudden death; Spain go first this time. Perez goes up first and scores. Louise Versavel takes it for Belgium, but foul is given against her for backing into the keeper. The Belgians look to use their referral, but are denied. Aisling D’Hooge tells me after the game that this was because they waited too long. There seems to be an inconsistency here, as Alex Danson in her final Pool B game waited longer to refer for a short corner and still was allowed to ask the question. Versavel is in tears, it all seems rather unfair. Spain celebrate, as they advance to the quarter finals.
Final score is Belgium 0 – 0 Spain
(Spain win 3 – 2 on penalties)