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Atlético Femenino update: Continuity the goal as team closes in on third straight title

José Luis Sánchez’s women will resume their domestic commitments after the international break.

Amanda Sampedro in action.

Atlético Femenino ended 2018 calendar on a high, as they lead the Liga Iberdola championship on 51 points, six ahead of rivals Barcelona (who have a game in hand).

After a rough patch during October and November, where some of their frailties were exposed in games that mattered, Sánchez’s amends have resurrected the team as they claimed the spoils in every encounter during December.

This included a fantastic 4-0 win over Valencia. The goals in that game came through Angela Sosa, who grabbed a brace, Silvia Meseguer and Kenti Robles. Sosa provided the key pass to both their goals.

A 3-1 victory over Espanyol followed the Valencia win, with Carmen Menayo, Andrea Falcón and Olga García registering the goals for the colchoneros. Once again, Sosa proved to be a key asset to the team with another two assists.

Ludmila and Jennifer Hermoso scored both goals that helped Atlético beat Real Betis in their penultimate fixture last month before the team saw off Sporting de Huelva 3-1 in their final 2018 appointment. Sosa, Ludmila and Olga were on the scoresheet in that game for Sánchez’s clan.

Meanwhile, Atlético opened their 2019 fixtures with four more victories before the national teams took over during the past week.

Atleti defeated former champions Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in their first game, with Aissatou Tounkara, Sosa and an Ainhoa Alvarez own goal sealing the result.

Another three goals helped Atlético to claim their second win of the year as they eased past relegation strugglers Logroño, with defender Elena Linari marking a rare start with a goal before Meseguer and Hermoso wrapped up the win. Finally, Hermoso notched a hat trick in a 4-1 win over relegation candidates Málaga on Saturday.

The 2019 calendar will soon see Atletico take on Bilbao in the Copa de la Reina as the colchoneros strive to clinch the domestic cup as well.

National duty

Meanwhile, midway through January, the Spain women’s national team was involved in two exhibition games as they start to prepare for their 2019 FIFA World Cup commitments.

Six Atlético were called up by Jorge Vilda for their double header against Belgium and the defending champions, the United States — Falcón, Hermoso, Meseguer, Sosa, Lola Gallardo and Amanda Sampedro.

Spain drew 1-1 against fellow European opponents Belgium before falling 1-0 at the hands of the U.S. in a hard-fought battle at Alicante.