A first-half goal from Spain’s golden girl Alexia Putellas was enough to see Spain take the three points and join Canada at the top of the table in today’s first Arnold Clark Cup game on the last day of the competition.
The first half began as an even contest, with both sides having their fair share of the ball, but it wasn’t long before Spain took control and threatened on the attack, with Alexia Putellas being the centre-piece of many of the chances created.
Spain were rewarded with a goal in the 20th minute when Putellas met an Ouahabi cross in the box and calmly slotted away to put La Roya in the lead.
Canada were not short of creating chances, as a header from Huetima from a free-kick almost became the equaliser for Canada, but an excellent save from Spanish keeper Lola Gallardo denied the Canadians the goal.
Spain continued to control the game, creating a flurry of chances but the final ball wasn’t finding the back of the net, but the score remained 1-0 heading into the break.
A quiet start to the second half saw Spain play some great progressive play going forward, but the passing into the final third was lacking as they searched for another goal early on to increase their advantage.
Canada found it hard to gain possession and get forward, with the Spanish defence making it very difficult for them to get through.
On the hour mark, Canadian keeper Buchanan was forced to make a save onto the bar after a goalmouth scramble, in which Spanish Substitute Esther Gonzales was able to rise Above the rest and get her header on target.
Canada were able to get hold of the ball more in the final 15 minutes and substitute Cloé Lacasse had a half-chance as she aimed the ball into the hands of Gallardo, but there was not enough power for her effort to challenge the Spanish shot-stopper.
Not long after, a corner from Jessie Fleming was met by Nichelle Prince, but her header went over the bar and didn’t hit the target.
Despite efforts from Canada up until the final whistle in the second half, Spain’s all around performance was enough to give them the three points and their first win in the competition
Words by Megan Garbutt