PHOTO: ARXIU FCB

It wasn’t meant to be. The players led by Xavi Llorens were defeated in the semifinal of the Copa de la Reina by Athletic Club, who won thanks to goals from Guru on 37 minutes and Flaviano on 71 minutes. Despite being eliminated from the competition, the team have finished a very positive season, where they claimed the Superliga Femenina and the Catalonia Cup.

The match started off with an excellent opportunity for Athletic Club. In the first minute Erika’s shot went narrowly over Laura’s crossbar. The Azulgrana response was immediate. On six minutes, Olga had the best opportunity of the first half, but Ainhoa did well to save the one-on-one chance against the Azulgrana striker.

From that moment on Llorens’ team took control of the match; possession belonged to the Azulgranas and the chances fell to Barça as well, however there were no goals at either end of the pitch. After a couple of minutes of slow football, Erika, once again, came close to scoring the opener from the top of the box. Althetic were on the prowl and they tested Laura Ràfols - but the Azulgrana keeper did well to avert the danger.

The Basques take control

Barça, after a good first 15 minutes, slowly ceded control of the match to the Basque team. On 37 minutes, Guru scored the first goal of the game after taking advantage of an Azulgrana defensive error. The teams went to the half with the 1-0 on the scoreboard.

No reward

The second half of the match was marked by Barça’s dominance from the first minute. The players managed by Llorens were desperate to score the equaliser. From the opening whistle of the second half, the Basque defenders were struggling to contain Barça’s onslaught. On 17 minutes, after a couple of chances, Sonia had the best chance to bring her team level. Barça’s number 10 latched onto Carol’s long pass but she was unable to beat Ainhoa. Barça were coming close to scoring every time they had the ball, but time was running out. Flaviano, however, an Athletic Club player, killed off the match with a beautiful goal on 71 minutes.

No luck

In the last quarter hour of the match Barça went all out, and on the 80th and 82nd minutes, Míriam and Melani both hit the post, the first with a shot from outside the box and the second from a set piece.

Luck didn’t smile on the Azulgranas today but the FC Barcelona Women’s team have had a fantastic season, where they claimed the Liga and the Catalonia Cup.

MATCH STATS

FC BARCELONA, 2
ATHLETIC CLUB DE BILBAO,0

Athletic Club: Ainhoa, Flaviano, Murua, Iraia, Orueta, Olabarrieta (Arranz 86’), Ibarra (Andoiti 89’), Erika, Saioa, Guru (Nekane 59’), Irene

FC Barcelona: Ràfols, Laura, Meli, Ani, Melani, Marta (Ludmila 65’), Corredera, Míriam, Viky, Sònia, Olga

Goals: 1-0, Guru (37’); 2-0, Flaviano (71’)

Referee: Beatriz Gil