Aussies Abroad: Chidiac in touching distance of Spanish title

Alex Chidiac’s Atletico Madrid are a point away from lifting the La Liga Femenina championship following a 3-0 victory against Valencia.

Spanish title rivals Barcelona dispatched Sevilla 6-2 on Wednesday to go overtake Jose Luis Sanchez’s side on goal difference, with both teams on 78 points going into Saturday’s match. 

Playing their game in hand, the pressure was on Chidiac and company to regain their position at the summit heading into the final round of the season next week.

Header image courtesy of Alex Chidiac on Twitter: @Chidiac10

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French defender Aissatou Tounkara put the home side in the ascendancy on 39 minutes to ease the tension at the Estadio Cerro del Espino.

Esther Gonzalez gave the Las Rojiblancas a two-goal cushion when she struck on 49 minutes, as Westfield Matilda Chidiac remained an unused substitute.

Spain international forward Jennifer Hermoso added an 88th-minute penalty kick to put the seal on an emphatic win over their eighth-placed opposition.

Atleti, who have won 27 of their 29 games this season, travel to Sociedad in the final round next Sunday needing only a draw to be crowned champions for third straight time.

Barcelona, who have finished runners up in each of the past three campaigns, face Granadilla Tenerife waiting to pounce on any slip up. The Catalan side won the title four times in a row between 2012 and 2015.

Meanwhile, third-placed team Levante suffered a 1-0 home defeat against Real Madrid with Westfield Matilda Aivi Luik playing 77 minutes from the start. 

Spain Under-20 international Yasmin Mrabet netted the only goal at Ciudad Deportiva de Bunol on 64 minutes as the 13th-place team recorded the surprise win.

Pride slip to NWSL defeat

In the United States, the Utah Royals upset Alanna Kennedy and Emily van Egmond’s Orlando Pride, 1-0, in the National Women’s Soccer League.

Kennedy and van Egmond ran out alongside fellow Westfield W-League stars Carson Pickett and Chi Ubogagu of the Brisbane Roar and Perth Glory striker Rachel Hill, with Kennedy coming close to an equaliser.

United States international Christen Press hit the decisive goal on 19 minutes at the Orlando City Stadium to inflicted the Pride’s third defeat in four games. 

The Royals, whose line up includes Newcastle Jet Katie Stengel, move to the top of the NWSL ladder with two wins from two games.