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Leaving the World Cup with heads held high


Our girls are leaving the World Cup, but they have left their mark. What was feared could be an annihilation against the US team, currently the top dogs in women's football, it ended 2-1, with both of the American goals penalties, and the decisive second of those was debatable. The referee pointed to the spot, was advised by VAR to check it - those with the monitors were clearly not convinced - but after review it was given. There are no complaints about it, but it just goes to show how fine the margins were in the game. It was Jennifer Hermoso's who scored the evening's nicest goal, a magnificent effort that left the US goalkeeper stranded.

A solid step forward

It was not a beautiful game, by any means, but it was serious and intense. The Spaniards depart leaving behind a clear sense of a compact and disciplined group, one which moves the ball well, but which lacks bite. It is a shame that manager Jorge Vilda, who has done some excellent work, put a black mark against Vero Boquete, the our most lethal attacker. But even so, this World Cup has confirmed that Spanish women's football is on a solid path and, had their route been different, they could have travelled even further. In any case, their achievements have added a worthy pin to their lapel, on a journey which the public have been more involved.

To the female pioneers

This coming season, so pleased that Real Madrid is finally catching on, makes me think of so many people who have suffered for this since the seventies. Those in the first national team had to swim against the tide, with Conchiamancio leading, but without any official support, and in games unregistered by the Federation. So many heroines in that early period have allowed those of today to get ahead. Surely seeing how far this has progressed will help them feel somewhat compensated for the many disappointments, but it now falls to the sensitivity of Rubiales, which he has, to make some kind of gesture to recognise those ignored pioneers.