Lucía García and the impact of being a different player (Natàlia Arroyo)

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It lacked sparkle. Someone who needed the last line was missing. Someone who breaks into space, someone who dives away from the ball, someone who contributes an extra speed to a pretensiously dynamic attack, but desperately misguided. Spain did not find the tone. I wanted the ball, I wanted to attack, I did not want to be flat. But he was feeling it. And, above all, I was against a South African who had the clear menu on his head: chasing players in defense, causing a delicate loss and running to activate Kgatlana up. Until the quarter of an hour, the plan did not come out, but as the mobility of Spain was losing strength and ability to step on the area the picture was clarified.

Take a 25 minute counterattack and trouble for the red one. Seeing 0-1 against shot the alarms. The boss of the players should move between panic and despair, nerves, insecurities. If the general tone before the Kgatlana target was already beginning to give strange symptoms, the goal and some subsequent scare ended up adding hysteria.

The team was not comfortable. The individual markings of the South Africans were nullifying Virginia Torrecilla in the zone of the pivot and the power stations were drowned in each exit. They could only drive, but soon the way was over. They were not the easy option of passing Alexia Putellas and Vicky Losada, always with a backpack, always with someone on top. In addition, the two Barça midfielders seemed to have the mission of providing second-line arrivals and, with both vertical disassembly of the interiors, the team was cracking. Jenni Hermoso, Mariona Caldentey and Amanda Sampedro were too much the same player, an option at the foot, an option on the inside, an option that moves freely and goes down steep steps.

So much autonomy was disconfiguring the Spanish scheme, which lacked a security pass to turn the orientation and stabilize the possession. To give time to relocate the pieces. The team unfolded on the opposite side, yes, but everything had to be done in the race, everything was coming. And it did it late Corredera and Torrejón, increasingly strained by South African cavalry, remained half an ascent, perhaps due to fear, perhaps because they lacked more passages to have time to climb. There was a point of agony in each Spanish reaction, as if everything were all or nothing. The team began to face Canada 2015 against Costa Rica.

Until the rest. Until the entrance of Aitana Bonmatí, but, above all, by Lucia García. Athletic's asturian player understood his role and started giving the team precisely what he needed. An open waiting to the right. A diagonal towards goal. An unintended ball movement. In short, something that fries South Africa beyond touch and touch. It provoked yellow and encouraged attacks to be more frequent and clearer. Spain needed a dissonant piece, someone who undone the schemes.

Yes, they had already come out with the desire to be more dynamic and more ferocious in space, but it was necessary that any of the attackers do it. And Lucía came out in the most Ludmila mode to turn Jenni into the Jenni of the Athletic, and to the more Oshoala way to enhance the virtues of Mariona and Aitana, as when Barça is deep. Two penalties and one goal saved the furniture in the second half: 3-1. The first duels of the World Cup, with the offensive display of France and the problems of creating Germany, are already teaching that, or is it punch or few ticks are made to the opponent. If not, let it be told in Nigeria, which succumbed to Norway. Yes, a Norway that even without Hegerberg intimidates.

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