By Luciano Alday Villalobos / Punitaqui
Women’s soccer grows every day and the Punitaki community doesn’t want to be left behind. True to its name, Deportivo Fénix has emerged, a club dedicated exclusively to female soccer players.
In its few years of history, the Punitaquino team has shown exponential game growth, achieved thanks to the efforts and perseverance of its players.
“I am happy and proud of the growth of the sport of Phoenix, the camaraderie in our team is strong, which allows us to strengthen the union in the group. I believe that the growth and results we have achieved in various competitions inside and outside our community, has allowed us to position ourselves as a strong competitor in provincial women’s football and gain respect”, declared the club’s coach, Sebastian Cortes.
Similarly, the team captain, Thania Araya Maluenda, declared that “I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team, although we are just settling in, we have a lot of unity on and off the field. has shown, which is very important when facing a rival, that’s why we got good results in the championships we participated in”:
A year of good results
At the end of April this year, Fenix achieved one of its greatest achievements in history by finishing third in the regional women’s soccer championship, when they defeated their counterparts Lille Dieguitas de Vicuna 6-1.
But Punitaquina was not satisfied with that, and for months they continued to add training and experience to reach new goals.
This is how they won the cup of the tournament called “El futbol se vive en punitaki”. The title was achieved thanks to 8 points added for two wins and two draws.
Later this year they entered the Women’s Soccer Seed Tournament organized by the Oval Municipality, where they are undefeated so far.
In the group stage, the Punitaquinas swept three matches, where they scored 17 goals, and won only one (4–0 over Las Mackay, 11–0 over Arnoldo Campusano and 2–1 over Ovalle in the Club Social and Sports Youth Series).
The story is yet to be told
In the semi-final played last Saturday, September 10, the natives of “Tierra de los Molinos” clearly defeated Atlético Ovale, one of the leaders of women’s football in the area, 4-1.
In this way, they reached the Grand Final which will be played at the Dieguita Stadium, where they will face Club Social y Deportivo Ovalle in their senior category.
“As a team we are very happy to qualify for the final, we have performed well throughout the championship, where we had to face strong teams such as the juvenile branch of “Social” and Club Atlético Ovale, it was difficult. But we managed to advance the task of qualifying with a 4-1 victory in the semi-final match”, said Francisca Carvajal Gomez, a player and statistician of Phoenix.
“For us, this classification is very important because we are a team that was formed recently and for that reason we had to start from the bottom, but with the desire of the younger girls, the experience of those of us who are playing. Above all, the ‘teacher’ function and camaraderie on and off the field is growing as a team. We hope the final will be a great match, as a team we are going with all the will to give our best to continue to experience and learn,” she added.
Thus, the players continue their training ahead of the grand final with the dream of lifting the cup, “We are focused on the final, we know that the rival team is very strong, but we are confident that we will advance. A good game I have faith in all my teammates who try to give their best in every game”, concluded captain Thania Araya.
The importance of having support
Finally, the manager of Club Deportivo Fenix, Julia Cortés, appreciates the support provided by local entrepreneurs such as Botilleria La Previa, Pension Paulita, Paulo Fernández, Marta Angelica Carvajal and Botilleria La Villa de Pueblo Nuevo.
Similarly, he asked for more support from the municipality, which already collaborates with sports venues to provide training.
“Participating in this championship at the Oval is still complicated in terms of travel costs. For the same reason we call the famous municipality of Punitaki, even though they offer us a sports venue like a stadium where we can train, maybe they can help us in motion”, indicated Julia Cortes.
In the same way, he extended this call transversally, “We call companies and/or people who want to contribute to the transport costs, which will allow us to continue participating in these cases, because we have proposed competitive objectives so that Let our young players gain experience and confidence, and that way we can all represent women’s soccer and our community of Punitaki”, she concluded.