Spain and Germany are off to winning starts in the Women’s Euros with dominating wins over Finland and Denmark respectively.
Spain, the favorites on many ballots, were up first in Milton Keynes and had to come from behind to beat Finland 4-1 in their opening game.
Linda Sallstrom gave Finland a surprise lead in the very first minute, firing a low shot into the net following a superb pass from defender Anna Westerlund.
But it was Spain’s game from there on out with headers from captain Irene Paredes, midfielder Aitana Bonmati and forward Lucia Garcia, and a penalty from Mariona Caldentey giving Spain an easy win.
Spain, playing without the injured Jennifer Hermoso and Alexia Putellas, overcame the early jitters and found the equalizer in the 26th minute when the unmarked Paredes scored a towering header from Caldentey’s corner.
Jorge Vilda’s team took the lead in the 41st minute after Mapi Leon swept in a brilliant cross from the left and Bonmati headed the ball into the top corner before Garcia headed in from Leon’s free kick in the 75th minute to make it 3-1 before Caldentey scored with a stoppage-time penalty.
The win sent Spain top of Group B in the Euros only for Germany to better the scoreline later in the night.
Germany opened their bid for a record ninth European Championship with a 4-0 demolition of Denmark in their Group B opener.
An early strike from Lina Magull and second-half goals from Lea Schuller, Lena Lattwein, and Alexandra Popp at the Brentford Community Stadium ensured Germany’s record of never losing an opening Euros match remained intact.
Denmark next takes on Finland on Tuesday, while Germany plays Spain later that day in what promises to be a blockbuster game.