2020/21 in Pictures: Games 26-29

It’s a bit of a bumper update this time as I look back on the end of March and beginning of April as we continue to speed towards the end of the football season in Spain.

Game 2️⃣6️⃣

⚽️ Madrid CFF 1-0 Sporting Huelva

🏟 Estadio Nueva Matapiñonera, San Sebastián de los Reyes

🏆 Primera Iberdrola

📅 28.3.2021

💶 Free (Press Access)

I hadn’t actually managed to take in a Primera Iberdrola game since 6th January (blame a combination of the weather and perimetral lockdowns for that) so it was nice to get back to see Madrid CFF continue their unlikely push for the Champions League – and on the day where fans were allowed back for the first time all season.

The opposition were Sporting Huelva, themselves coming off a historic win over Atlético Madridand with the sun shining in San Sebastián de los Reyes, I had high hopes for a good game.

But it never really caught fire. Madrid are a team who are best on the counter and Sporting mostly sat deep and aimed to frustrate them. The hosts had the best chances of the game but only managed one goal, Sara Tui’s header from a corner early in the second half.

The one goal lead always meant there was a certain amount of jeopardy but in truth, Madrid were relatively comfortable and could have won by a greater margin. It was great to see fans in the ground for the first time and a good few of them were from Huelva (obviously based in Madrid because travelling during Easter week was banned) and wearing Recre shirts.

Bar Watch: For the first time all season, the bar was open and I was able to pop in before the game to get a bottle of water.

Shop Watch: Alas, still no sign of any merchandise on sale for the supporters to buy.

Match Rating: 6/10 – Another low-scoring outing at Matapiñonera for me. So it was typical that the following weekend, when I was unable to go, it hosted a 4-2 thriller, featuring one of the best goals of the season from Madrid’s Amanda Frisbie

Game 2️⃣7️⃣

⚽️ CD Canillas 2-1 CD Galapagar

🏟 Municipal Canillas, Madrid

🏆 Madrid Preferente Group 1

📅 11.4.2021

💶 Free Entry

So after an Easter week which unexpectedly ended up being football free (there were no easily accessible games on Jueves Santo and my weekend choice of Atleti Femenino v Depor Abanca fell victim to Covid-19 on Friday afternoon) I had to wait until 11th April for my first action of the new month.

My choice was conditioned by the weather forecast, which predicted a long day of heavy rain and thunderstorms, so I decided it was best to go somewhere with a roof! So off to Canillas for the third time this year I went. Fortunately it was quite an attractive fixture anyway as they were hosting Group 1 leaders Galapagar, who brought a sizeable contingent of fans with them to Hortaleza.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the visitors shaded the first half, albeit without ever really making Canillas’ goalkeeper work too much.

It was a different story in the second half however, as the home side struck twice through a couple of superb strikes from Tiago. The first was a neat build-up culminating in a curling right foot shot from the edge of the area, the second a superb free kick which he capped off with a Cristiano Ronaldo-imitating celebration.

Galapagar did pull a goal back late on to ensure that there was a little bit of tension as the game entered stoppage time, but the home side had done enough to secure a huge win.

Bar Watch: I arrived slightly late and didn’t get a chance to visit the bar (and the famous José Mourinho shrine).

Shop Watch: I assume the usual array of merchandise was on sale at the bar.

Match Rating: 8/10 – I always enjoy a visit to Canillas and this was no exception. Two great goals and a decent atmosphere made it worth getting out of bed for!

Game 2️⃣8️⃣

⚽️ Independiente de Vallecas 4-0 Atlético de Vallecas B

🏟 Instalaciónes Deportivas La Unión, Madrid

🏆 Madrid Tercera Regional, Group 8

📅 18.4.2021

💶 Free Entry

Back at the start of the season,I listed visiting fan-owned club Independiente de Vallecas as one of my objectives for the season. Looking back at that post from April, most of them seem hopelessly over-optimistic. But at least I was able to get along to watch Independiente de Vallecas on 18th April.

I aim to cover the experience in more detail in the coming weeks, so here I’m just going to focus on the details of the match.

Independiente have hopes of pushing into the promotion spots before the end of the season, whereas their opponents, Atlético de Vallecas B, started the day propping up the table. To their credit, they did a good job holding back the maroon tide in the first half, though the hosts did hit the post and have a goal disallowed.

Ten minutes into the second half, their resistance was finally broken as Javi González found the back of the net with a fine finish and followed it up with a second seven minutes later, nearly ripping through the net in the process.

Pedro García saw a goal chalked off for offside on 65 minutes, but only had to wait four more minutes to get his name on the scoresheet before González completed his hat-trick with five minutes left.

The action was accompanied throughout with vocal support from the small band of home fans, who with their flags and smoke bombs added plenty of colour as well as noise to the occasion. I particularly enjoyed how the players came over to the fans before and after the match, particularly relevant on a day when leaked reports of a European Super League emphasised the disconnect between the so-called “superclubs” and their core local support. As proud members of the Fútbol Popular movement here in Spain, Independiente have shown that fans come first.

Bar Watch: The bar at La Unión got plenty of business from me over the course of the afternoon! After visiting pre-game for coffee, I headed back at half time for a bocata!

Shop Watch: Although not immediately obvious, there was a full range of merchandise being sold just across from the bar. I took the opportunity to add to my scarf collection. I’ll probably be visiting their online shop fairly soon to see if I can pick up one of their away shirts too.

Match Rating: 8/10 – Although it ended up a bit one-sided, I thoroughly enjoyed the game and the atmosphere. I’ll definitely be back, if not this season, then definitely next!

Game 2️⃣9️⃣

⚽️ Independiente de Vallecas Femenino 5-0 CD Campamento Femenino

🏟 Instalaciónes Deportivas La Unión, Madrid

🏆 Madrid Primera Regional Femenino, Group 3

📅 18.4.2021

💶 Free Entry

La Unión was actually hosting a double-header with Independiente’s women’s team, most of whom had been in the stands for the first game, taking on CD Campamento.

They dominated the game from start to finish and were 3-0 up at the break thanks to Paula Marín‘s header on 15 minutes and then two goals in two minutes just before the break from Inma Flores and Rocío García.

Alma Candela added a fourth after the interval before Cynthia Arroyo rounded off the scoring in the final minute.

Although a lot of people had left after the first game, a good few stayed on, later being joined by a few of the men’s team’s players. I had originally planned to only stay on for part of the game, but it was such a nice day for being outside I ended up staying for the whole game.

Bar Watch: I was back at the bar for a drink and a tapa at half time in this game.

Shop Watch: The merchandise stall had gone by the time the second game got underway.

Match Rating: 7/10 – Despite some good goals, this game was a good deal less competitive than the other one. It was over as a contest long before half time and just seemed to be a case of how many goals Independiente would score.

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