Jennifer Hermoso converted two second-half penalties into goals, building on which substitute Lucia Garcia scored a last-minute goal as Spain dug out from a deficit to beat South Africa 3-1 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup on Saturday.
Hermoso scored goals in the 69th and 82nd minutes of the match to help begin Spain begin their 2019 World Cup campaign with a win. However, South Africa, who are making their maiden appearance in the finals, scored in the first half to take an unexpected lead.
The first penalty was awarded because of a handball by South Africa captain Janine van Wyk and the second one because of a follow through tackle by Nothando Vilakazi which earned her a second yellow card and hence was dismissed from the match.
After Spain dominated the initial moments of the match, the South African team counter attacked and succeeded when Thembi Kgatlana struck a powerful shot over the goalkeeper’s head.
Spain’s dominance in the last phase of the match can also be attributed to their superior fitness levels – since Lucia Garcia’s last minute goal was possible only because she outsprinted her South Africa’s defence to set that goal beautifully.
South Africa play China next on Friday, 14 June, and Spain meet Germany on Wednesday, 12 June, in their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaigns ahead.