Spain look to kickstart their third FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a win over Costa Rica on Friday, 21 July 2023. The two sides will face off at the Wellington Regional Stadium, which boasts a capacity of 34,500.
La Roja have shown consistent signs of improvement since they made their debut eight years ago – they went winless in their first appearance and were eliminated in the group stage, but clinched progress to the round-of-sixteen last time out.
This time, Jorge Vilda’s side will look to push further and capitalise on their incredible bank of talent. It’s important to note that this isn’t the best Spanish side possible though. Fifteen players made themselves unavailable for national team selection last summer, and just a handful have returned.
Costa Rica also made their debut at the tournament in 2015, but failed to qualify four years later. Like their Spanish opponents, las Ticas failed to register a win eight years ago – and will look to make amends with a statement of intent against one of the world’s strongest sides.
Alexia Putellas has recovered from her anterior cruciate ligament injury just in time, but is reportedly carrying a slight knock. With Spain expected to cruise to a fairly comfortable win, Jorge Villa may opt to limit her game time.
Costa Rica have a fully fit squad to utilise.
Spain: Misa; Carmona, Andrés, Codina, Batlle; Putellas, Abelleira, Bonmatí; Caldentey, Hermoso, Paralluelo
Costa Rica: Solera; Del Campo, F. Villalobos, Benavides, Guillén; Parros, Rodríguez, Alvarado, G. Villalobos, Chinchilla; Herrera
Where can I watch?
Kickoff at the Wellington Regional Stadium is scheduled for 8:30am UK time on Friday, 21 July 2023. The coverage will begin at 08:15 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer. If you’re unable to watch the match, fear not – we’ll have a detailed match report published within minutes of the final whistle.
FromTheSpot will be bringing you coverage of every game throughout the FIFA Women’s World Cup, including previews and detailed reports. We’ll cover games in the buildup to the tournament too, so you can get a feel for the potential favourites ahead of action getting underway in Australia and New Zealand.