• Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

    Costa Rica, Spain battle to FWWC draw

    Costa Rica's Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño (#11) celebrates after scoring against Spain in a FIFA Women's World Cup match on June 9, 2015, in Montreal, Canada. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

    MONTREAL – FIFA Women’s World Cup debutants Costa Rica and Spain played to a 1-1 draw in the Group E opener for each on Tuesday at the Stade Olympique.

    “It was extremely intense match,” said Costa Rica head coach Amelia Valverde.  “Spain controlled the match, but that was to be expected. Our defensive work saved us – we knew that our opponents were dangerous down the flanks and in the air.  All the girls did a great job in those areas.”

    Victoria Losada put Spain ahead in the 13th minute with an exquisite individual effort.  After receiving a low pass from Sonia Bermudez with her back to the goal in the right side of the box, Losada flicked the ball to herself as she spun left and then put a left-footed shot inside the far post from 15-yards out.

    The Ticas equalized one minute later as Lixy Rodriguez collected a chested pass from Adriana Venegas and made a run toward the goal line, before cutting it back to Raquel Rodriguez Cedeño.  The midfielder simply tapped in from the edge of the six-yard box to net the historic goal.

    Katherine Alvarado troubled Spanish goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu later in the first half with a lobbed free kick near the left touchline.  But after initially bobbling the ball, Tirapu collected to avert danger.

    In the second half, Losada threatened to score a second with a curling left-footed effort from just outside the box, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Dinnia Diaz leaped to her right to palm the ball away for a spectacular save.

    Another attempt by Spanish midfielder Natalia Pablos went teasingly wide of the far post.

    “Thanks to some great saves from Dinnia Diaz and our ability to take the one chance that we did get, it almost feels like a victory,” Valverde finished.

    Next up, Costa Rica meets South Korea, while Spain faces group-leading Brazil in the next round of group stage matches Saturday, also at the Stade Olympique. 

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