Real Madrid exit UWCL after latest group-stage defeat

Alex Kirkland

Rodrigo Faez

Dec 21, 2023, 04:44 AM ET

Real Madrid were eliminated from the UEFA Women’s Champions League on Wednesday after conceding what coach Alberto Toril called an “infantile” penalty in a 1-0 home defeat to Paris FC.

Madrid are bottom of UWCL Group D with just one point from four games, with the loss to Paris making it mathematically impossible for them to progress to the competition’s quarterfinals.

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The result marks the second year in a row in which Madrid’s women’s team — which was only formally launched in 2020 — have been eliminated at the group stage.

Paris’ Gaëtane Thiney scored the game’s only goal in the 78th minute, converting from the penalty spot after midfielder Maite Oroz had clumsily fouled Celina Hocine, with the defender heading away from goal.

“We go home sad because of the result,” Toril said in a postmatch news conference. “Either of the two teams could have won. The infantile penalty decided the game. You can’t give away that penalty, and it decided the contest. I say infantile penalty because [the contact] is minimal, but it’s clear. We can’t give away that kind of penalty.”

Real Madrid have been eliminated at the UWCL group stage in back-to-back seasons. Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Despite the team’s disappointing Champions League performance — with a 2-2 home draw with Chelsea followed by defeat to Hacken and back-to-back losses to Paris FC — Toril said that the team were “growing.”

“If you look at the UEFA coefficient, we’re among the top ten,” he said. “It’s a question of time. We’ve had a lot of problems which have cost us. That’s meant we haven’t been able to show our potential.”

Madrid are second in Spain’s Liga F, nine points behind Barcelona, but have faced a difficult season with injuries to star players Caroline Weir and Golden Girl winner Linda Caicedo.

“We aren’t looking for excuses with the injuries, but it’s obvious,” Toril said. “This is a project that’s growing, that takes work. We have to grow, accept the situation, improve and achieve our objectives… When you try, it isn’t a failure.”


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