That June 6, 2021, when the tragedy of the first relegation in 50 years took place, Espanyol Femenino made a promise: “Today we begin the road back” (to Primera). Well, the long path of return ended this Thursday, in Sant Adrià de Besòs, where, in the packed Ciutat Esportiva Dani Jarque, the blue and white team certified promotion to the highest category of women’s football after beating Osasuna 3-1. They are already first class.

Curiously, Espanyol’s women’s and men’s paths have taken lifts in opposite directions. When the men’s team then led by Vicente Moreno returned to Primera in 2021 with a goalless draw in La Romareda, they consummated the relegation to Second by losing to Atlético 4-1. Now they are the ones who are promoted before them (who have a very difficult direct ticket to go up), after a tortuous path in which they were left without a coach in January (Adrián González was going to the United States).

The players led since then by Juan Ignacio Ibarra had lost 1-0 in the first leg of the promotion final in El Sadar, and needed only victory to return to First Division. In case of a tie on aggregate, there would be no penalties and Espanyol would go up for having finished in a better position in the Second League (they were 3rd and Osasuna, 4th).

The first step towards promotion was taken by Caracas with a very dangerous high shot. It was a warning of what was to come: the festival of Lice Chamorro, the greatest blue and white director.

The Paraguayan forward resolved the tie in 18 minutes. At 20 she took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Maitane, who failed to start and block a ball, to push the ball into the net. The 1-0 score gave confidence to the Espanyol players, who increased their dominance. In the 38th minute, Chamorro received a great pass into the hole from Mar Torras and the forward finished with a soft touch under Maitane’s legs to establish the 2-0; It was his 13th goal in the league and the playoff. The promotion was already a reality.

The final shot at victory and return to Primera came with Ana Hernández’s 3-0 at 54 minutes, in an impeccable header.

Osasuna closed the gap with Merche Izal’s 3-1 lead in the 85th minute, materialized with a great shot from outside the area that slipped into the top corner.