A harsh punishment (1-3)
A harsh punishment (1-3)

Villarreal deserved more than they got in their third league defeat of the season against Atletico Madrid

Villarreal were again left without reward (1-3) as Atlético de Madrid visited the Mini Estadi. The Yellows, despite a proven capacity for hard work and sacrifice, ended up losing out to the power and punch of the away side, who were relentless in front of goal, in a game where the home side’s goal came from Kayla McKenna, who opened her account as a Submarine player.

It was a pair of isolated moves that ended up condemning the Yellows in the first half. No sooner had the game got underway than Van Dongen took advantage of a scramble from a corner to pounce on a shot and make things difficult for Villarreal from the off.

Sara Monforte’s side challenged the visitors’ dominance from the outset and had two clear chances to level the game through McKenna. The first with a powerful header and the second – and even clearer – with a cross-shot in a one-on-one situation that went just wide after half an hour, but it was Atleti who scored just before the break through Santos.

It was a second half of contrasts. With Villarreal determined to fight back, McKenna’s tenacity finally paid off with a quarter of an hour to go when the Jamaican beat Gallardo after three deflections from a move in the six-yard box. And just when the home side were trying their hardest, it was the Atletico midfielder Banini’s strike that finally put the game to bed.


  • Villarreal CF: C. Carbonell; Raquel, C. Cubedo, Giménez, Nerea; Claudia I., M. Llompart (m. 86, Salvador), Soldevila (m. 75, Virginia), F. Lara (m. 75, Vera Rico); McKenna (m. 82, Lucía G.), Kanteh.
  • Atlético de Madrid: L. Gallardo; Moraza (m. 56, Bøe Risa), Van Dongen, Xènia, Crnogorčević; S. Majarín (m. 62, Banini), M. Cardona (m. 83, Eva Navarro), Gaby G.; Santos (m. 56, Lundkvist), Sheila (m. 62, Lucía Moral), Ajibade.
  • Goals: 0-1. Min. 2: Van Dongen. 0-2. Min. 45: Santos. 1-2. Min. 74: McKenna. 1-3. Min. 89: Banini.
  • Referee: Arantza Gallastegui Pérez. Booked: Giménez and McKenna (Villarreal).
  • Matchday information: Match corresponding to the rescheduled Matchday 1 of the 2023/24 Liga F season between Villarreal Women and Atlético de Madrid, at the Mini Estadi. Attendance: 500.