Vicky López puts Spain in the World Cup semifinals

Spain will play the semifinals of the U-17 World Cup that is being held in India after beating Japan, one of the favorites to win the title. La Rojita had to overcome Tanikawa’s great goal in a heart-stopping game finale. Vicky Lopez appeared on the Cesarini area to score two goals that turned the scoreboard around and put Kenio Gonzalo’s team among the four best teams in the world. On Wednesday they will face Germany looking for a place in the grand final.

La Rojita faced one of the best teams in the world. Japan made it to the quarter-finals brilliantly after winning all three of their games and conceding not a single goal in the group stage. The opponent was scary, but the Japanese were also afraid of Spain’s quality and offensive arsenal. And that was noticeable at the beginning of the meeting. Equality was the predominant note during the first bars, with back and forth plays but without too many dangerous occasions. Of course, as the minutes went by Kenio’s pupils settled down on the pitch and took the ball away from a Japan that suffers when it doesn’t rule in games. Thus, the minutes passed without there being any shots on goal, until in the 32nd the hostilities began and the festival of interventions of the Iwasaki goal, the best of the Japanese. Carla Camacho and Marina had the opportunity to overtake La Rojita, but the goalkeeper started with her Show. They were the best minutes for Spain, which had the clearest from the penalty spot. Vicky López found Carla Camacho with a spectacular through ball and Iwasaki brought down the madridista inside the area. PI praised that of course the Spanish striker wasted it by throwing it high, too tight. The failure fell like a jug of cold water for a National Team that slightly lowered its arms before the break.

With that 0-0, although with Spanish dominance, the first half ended. And the second started with a scare. Defensive mistake of Spain in the exit of the ball, Konno stood up to Sofía Fuente and the Spanish goalkeeper put out a decisive foot for the interests of La Rojita. It was the first Japanese approach with real danger, but that was warning of what happened minutes later. Tanikawa found a rejection 40 meters from the goal and did not think about it. With his left leg already boat, he soon hooked a shot that entered through the same squad. Japan took the lead with the best goal of the championship. Before all that, Iwasaki’s figure kept getting bigger and bigger. He saved attacks from Lucía Corrales and Vicky López to keep a clean sheet. And after the goal, and with more than half an hour to go, he went about his business. Again Vicky López had it, but this time she ran into the postand Paula Partido, who had just entered the field, tried a header with the same result: a save by the Japanese goalkeeper.

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Kenio Gonzalo made a move and put all the meat on the grill. He refreshed his midfield and the triple change in the final stretch of the match had its prize. It seemed that Spain would stay at the gates of the semifinals. The forces began to fail, but Vicky López was there to demonstrate her quality and category. In just six minutes, from 87′ to 93′, she alone was able to turn the game around. He first took advantage of a mess in the area to score with his right leg and the help of Iwasaki, which this time proved that she is human. And when the penalty shootout loomed on the horizon, the Barcelona player did it again. Made a spectacular elastic inside the area and defined with his left leg. From nothing to everything in six minutes. However, the game had not come to an end and Sofía Fuente had to appear again to get a double Japanese chance when the match was already dying.

Spain will play next Wednesday against Germany (16:30) to look for his second consecutive final of the category and who knows if his second title. For now, he has already left one of the favorites behind in a match in which Kenio Gonzalo’s team never lost faith. That faith that makes champion teams…

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