The Copa de la Reina was the last opportunity for Atlético Madrid Femenino to salvage their season and add another trophy to their cabinet.
That window was almost sealed off until Lucia Moral’s 88th-minute goal against rivals Real Madrid served as a sliding doors moment for Atlético.
Lucía Moral had a great 2nd half of the season. pic.twitter.com/iCg4ncTWvi— The Partido a Partido Podcast (@ThePaPPod) May 28, 2023
Estefania Banini then sent the final into extra-time with a 95th-minute leveller with a delightful freekick. In the extra 30 minutes of play, neither side managed to clinch the victory, with the eventual winner having to be determined via a penalty shoot-out.
⚽️ ¡ !— Fútbol Femenino RFEF (@FutFemRFEF) May 27, 2023
Golazo de Banini para empatar el partido en el último suspiro y volver loca a la afición de Butarque.
@realmadridfem - @AtletiFemenino I 2-2 I 95'
@La1_tve#CopaDeLaReina @iberdrola pic.twitter.com/YaqH2kVez1
While Atlético missed only one penalty, Real Madrid failed to convert three times from the spot, and the Rojiblancas won their second Copa de la Reina trophy.
The club honored this triumph at the Cívitas Metropolitano before the start of the season’s penultimate La Liga match between the Colchoneros and Real Sociedad, a success that reflected how Atlético Femenino flipped a switch after Manolo Cano’s arrival, with the coach now agreeing to extend his stay at the club to another year. In his 22 games in charge, Cano registered 13 wins, seven draws and just two defeats.
The objective is loud and clear – qualify for Europe in 2023/24.
“The way we have finished the season is very important, and we want to start the new one with the same momentum in order to qualify to the Women’s Champions League,” Cano said after his renewal earlier this month.
“It is the place where I want to be, and to be able to continue with a job that we started five and a half months ago. I am very happy to be able to continue in a club that for me is my home.”
Banini, another Copa de la Reina hero, also signed a contract extension for another season following the final.
“I am very happy, especially now that we have achieved something very nice. I am happy to continue being part of this family,” said the Argentina player, who played 32 of the 34 games this season.
On the other hand, a number of players have bid farewell to the club, including Virginia Torrecilla. The midfielder, who overcame a brain tumour, leaves as her contract expires.
Torrecilla joined in 2019 after four seasons in France with Montpellier, and after overcoming her personal battle, she took to the field again in last January’s Spanish Super Cup.
Maitane and Barbara Latorre are also leaving the club, with Maitane having played 23 games while Latorre just 16 in an injury-plagued campaign for her.