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Atlético Femenino update: Title defence up and running

Plus, the colchoneros will begin their European journey against Spartak Subotica.

Atlético Madrid Femenino kicked off the new Primera Iberdrola season with three points immediately, after they saw out a nervy win over Sporting Huelva.

In fact, Atlético left it until almost 10 minutes from time to draw first blood through Aissatou Tounkara, whose header proved to be enough for the defending champions.

Starting the 2019/2020 championship on a winning note was crucial for the capital club — particularly after title rivals Barcelona thrashed UCD Tacón, who will become Real Madrid next season, 9-1 in their league opener.

For this game, Atlético deployed numerous new faces, including Charlyn Corral of Mexico, England’s Toni Duggan and American defender Kylie Strom.

Duggan, known for her offensive prowess as a number nine, started as a right winger, while in another positional change Ángela Sosa was shifted from her usual fullback role to left winger in a 4-4-2 formation.

Sevilla are next up, at home, on Sept. 15.

In the meantime, Atlético will look to make a statement in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. José Luis Sánchez Vera’s charges open their campaign with an away trip to Serbian side Spartak Subotica before hosting the Serb side in round of 32 return leg the following week. Duggan will miss out on at least the first leg with an adductor pull.

Last season, Atlético reached the last 16 before German heavyweights Wolfsburg steamrolled to a 10-0 aggregate victory.

Prior to the start of the league season, several Atlético players were called up for Spain duty against France. La Roja succumbed to a 2-0 defeat on French soil, and Lola Gallardo, Laia Alexandri, Amanda Sampedro and Virginia Torrecilla represented Atleti.

Defender Aïssatou Tounkara was in the French roster for the game and played the second half.