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Spain 3-0 Costa Rica: First-half flurry eases Vilda's side to victory
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PA Sport staff
Press Association
Spain celebrate their third goal (John Cowpland/AP)
Spain celebrate their third goal (John Cowpland/AP)

Spain made a comfortable start to their World Cup campaign as a first-half flurry of goals saw them beat Costa Rica 3-0 in Wellington.

A Valeria del Campo own goal, Aitana Bonmati strike and Esther Gonzalez finish came in quick succession to give Jorge Vilda’s side a firm grip on proceedings.

Jenni Hermoso had a penalty saved by Daniela Solera soon after and Spain were unable to boost their lead after the break. 

But the job had already been all but done and they move to the top of Group C ahead of Zambia playing Japan in the pool’s second fixture on Saturday.

While there has been some turbulence in the Spain camp since last summer’s Euros — with a group of players last September voicing concerns about the set-up and requesting not to be called up, and many still absent — the team arrived at this tournament regarded as real contenders.

And they gave a considerable demonstration of their prowess in the first half, dominating possession and producing a series of early attempts before racing into a three-goal lead — starting with Del Campo turning Gonzalez’s cross into her own net in the 21st minute.

Bonmati curled home two minutes later and four minutes after that Gonzalez hooked in when Hermoso headed against the bar.

Hermoso then had the chance to add a fourth via a 34th-minute penalty following Fabiola Villalobos’ challenge on Olga Carmona but saw her somewhat tame effort pushed away by Solera.

After the break, Spain again had the ball most of the time and registered frequent efforts at goal. 

But Carmona’s shot clipping the bar was the closest they came and they were thwarted by some good work by Solera, while double Ballon d’Or winner Alexia Putellas came off the bench as she continued her return from an ACL injury.


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