Irene Paredes, Aitana Bonmati, Lucia Garcia and Mariona Caldentey scored in the 4-1 victory.© AFP
Spain got rid of the loss of star midfielder Alexia Poutelis and started their Euro 2022 campaign with a victory by beating Finland 4-1 48 seconds later. Linda Celestrom made a huge hole in the Spanish defense and shocked the Finns in the first minute. Spain were the favorites before the tournament until the Ballon d’Or and the winning woman, Pottles, were injured in the cross-eight ligament during training on Tuesday. La Roja have been unbeaten since March 2020 and have returned to ensure that they need three points with a tough test thanks to goals from Irene Parades, Etana Bonmatti, Lucia Garcia and Mariona Caldenti against Germany and Denmark.
Walking on crutches and dressed in a Spanish shirt, Potilles was present to cheer on his teammates.
But the shock of losing their Star Woman came from a slow start by George Wilda.
Anna Westerland’s long ball played Celestrom with a clean throw and the Paris FC striker finished brilliantly in the far post.
Spain settled in its passing rhythm as it occupied 70%.
But with all-time top scorer Jennifer Hermoso out of the tournament due to injury, she had to rely on an unusual cross in the box to turn the game around.
Captain Parades began his return when he shot a header from a Caledonian corner.
Reducer Aitana Bonmati then created a brilliant header in the upper corner to fix the Spanish nerve before half time.
Garcia secured points 15 minutes ahead of time when he flicked Maria Lyon’s free kick into the bottom corner before Caldenti slammed the penalty home with the last kick of the game.
Eight-time winners Germany in Group B’s first blockbuster clash and Euro 2017 finalists Denmark will meet later in London.
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