By Samuel Ahmadu
Asisat Oshoala shone for Barcelona as they progressed to the final of the Spanish Copa de la Reina, following a 4-0 semi-final triumph over Madrid CFF on Wednesday.
The Nigeria international had only returned from a week-long visit to her country, Nigeria following the Catalonians’ maiden Champions League success in Gothenburd and came on from the bench against Oscar Fernandes’ team at Estadio Municipal de Butarque in Leganes.
On the other hand, compatriots Osinachi Ohale and Rita Chikwelu were on the starting list for Madrid, while Chidinma Okeke and Ogonna Chukwudi were left out due to varying reasons.
A month ago, Barcelona earned a 2-1 quarterfinal triumph over Sevilla despite Toni Payne’s assist, while Chikwelu’s effort was pivotal in Madrid CFF’s 2-1 derby victory over Real Madrid.
This time, Madrid were meeting with Barcelona for the second time in the competition since a quarterfinal tie in 2019, in which Barcelona won 3-0 but could not avoid another humiliation.
After an 8-0 crushing of Atletico Bilbao, the European champions continued from where they left off as Mariona Caldentey set up Alexia Putellas to opening the scoring in the 16th minute.
Fernandez’s side managed to end the first half with a goal deficit, but Bruna Vilamala doubled the lead for Barcelona six minute into the restart of the encounter.
The rampant title holders grabbed the third courtesy of Putellas’ second of the encounter thanks to a second assist from Caldentey in the 66th minute before Lieke Martens teed up the former to guarantee their triumph three minutes later with her treble of the contest.
Oshoala saw the final 18 minutes of the encounter on her first ever domestic appearance since 2-0 win over coincedentally the same opponents in the a league fixture on May 2.
For Madrid, Chikwelu and Ohale were involved from the start to the finish while Okeke is on a suspension and recovering Chukwudi missed out as their side crashed out of the competition.
Despit sealing their progression, Oshoala and Barcelona will look to claim a treble on May 30, but will battle Thursday’s winner between Levante and Aletico Madrid in the final.