FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 | Spain beats Costa Rica 3-0

They were outscored 3-0

July 21, 2023 11:09 pm | Updated August 08, 2023 04:31 pm IST - WELLINGTON

Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso and Costa Rica’s Fabiola Villalobos compete for the ball during the Women’s World Cup Group C soccer match between Spain and Costa Rica in Wellington, New Zealand on July 21, 2023.

Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso and Costa Rica’s Fabiola Villalobos compete for the ball during the Women’s World Cup Group C soccer match between Spain and Costa Rica in Wellington, New Zealand on July 21, 2023. | Photo Credit: AP

They were outscored 3-0. They were outshot 12-1. And for a nightmarish first half a the Women's World Cup, every ball seemed to find the wrong foot.

Costa Rica had a difficult showing to start its Women’s World Cup effort, losing 3-0 to Spain on a cold and rainy Friday night. About the best thing to take away for Las Ticas was they didn’t quit.

In the 22nd minute, a Spanish cross bounced off the leg of Costa Rica’s Valeria Del Campo and into her own net.

Within six minutes of Del Campo’s error, Spain’s Atiana Bonmati and Esther González each scored. The match was out of reach before the half-hour mark.

“We lost a bit of concentration because of (the own goal) for about 12 minutes,” head coach Amelia Valverde said after the game. “The whole team lost concentration.”

Las Ticas defense looked simply overwhelmed, while star forward Raquel Rodriguez spent the match on the bench.

Rodriguez, who has scored 55 goals in 100 appearances for her nation, missed the match with an unspecified injury. Valverdes said that she hopes Rodriguez can return for the next match against Japan.

Costa Rica was supported by Subite al Chunche, a fan group that has traveled to four men’s World Cups, and have now ventured to New Zealand for their first Women’s World Cup.

“Today we are going to beat Spain and change history,” Carme Salleras, a Spanish-born soccer fan who immigrated to Costa Rica predicted before the game. Salleras and the growing crowd around her remained positive about their team, despite trailing by three goals at halftime. “There’s still 45 minutes left, so everything can happen.”

No such luck.

Costa Rica played with more grit in the second half, faced-down a Spanish attack that kept pressing until the end and goalkeeper Daniela Solera came up with 10 saves. But getting out of Group C, which also includes Japan and Zambia, now looks a lot tougher.

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