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Spain crushes Costa Rica 3-0 at Women's World Cup

Spain crushes Costa Rica 3-0 at Women's World Cup, sending warning to rivals
2 min read
21 July, 2023
Spain got its World Cup campaign under way with a 3-0 demolition of Costa Rica in a rainswept night in Wellington.
Two-time Ballon d'Or winner Alexis Putellas came off the bench to inspire Spain to victory against a dogged Costa Rica side [Getty]

With three goals in four minutes in the middle of a lopsided first half Friday, Spain shattered Costa Rica’s resistance in the Group C match and sent a warning to rivals at the Women’s World Cup.

Speculation that Spain was a team weakened by injuries was misleading. They had more than 80% of possession by halftime, 12 corners, 15 shots on goal and had put to rest any concerns over injured players left behind. That the second half didn’t match the first was of little concern.

Spain began its campaign with a performance that demanded attention and brightened a bitter winter’s night in Wellington.

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Two-time Ballon d'Or-winner Alexis Putellas started on the bench, wasn't needed until the 77th minute, and went on to a rousing ovation after her long injury battle.

Though they attacked relentlessly, Spain needed 22 minutes until its opened the scoring, an own goal. Aitana Bonmati cut the ball back across goal from the left and Valeria del Campo, attempting to clear, sliced the ball into her own net.

Bonmati scored herself a minute later, striking the ball hard and low from the edge of the box. Two minutes later, Esther Gonzalez was on hand to add the third. It mattered little when Jennifer Hermoso missed from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, her shot saved by Daniela Solera.