Sunday, July 14, 2024
HomesportSpain's Hermoso returns to grab last-gasp winner against Italy

Spain's Hermoso returns to grab last-gasp winner against Italy

Spain substitute Jenni Hermoso scored a superb 89th minute goal to help her side snatch a 1-0 win over Italy in the Nations League on Friday as she returned to the national team for the first time since their Women’s World Cup success in August.

Forward Hermoso, made a triumphant return following the kiss scandal involving former Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) president Luis Rubiales and after being left out of the matches against Sweden and Switzerland in September.

Rubiales resigned last month after the allegedly unsolicited kiss on Hermoso’s lips at the World Cup presentation ceremony caused outrage among players, government officials and many in wider Spanish society and raised questions over sexism in sport.

Coach Montse Tome said at the time of Hermoso’s omission from the squad that she made the decision to “protect her”, although she was now thrilled to have Hermoso back in the team.

“We’re all very happy because we were able to win and because she (Hermoso) scored that goal,” Tome told a press conference after Friday’s game.

“When Italy closed down, when they got more into a low block, we needed someone else, like Jenni, in there. And she scored that goal, the goal that made us all very happy.”

“I would also like to say how happy I am with that goal, considering the time she has spent on the pitch. We saw her smiling and I think everyone is smiling,” the coach added.

Hermoso came on in the 68th minute and collected a rebound from Alexia Putellas’ shot to nudge the ball into the net for her 52nd goal as the national team’s top scorer.

Spain top Nations League group four with nine points ahead of Sweden on six and Italy with three. They face bottom side Switzerland, who have yet to earn a point, on Tuesday.

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