Spain (0-0) vs. Costa Rica (0-0)
|Date & Time||Tuesday June 9, 2015, 5:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Costa Rica +1354 / Spain -506 -- Over/Under: 3.5
Fox Sports 1, NBC Universo
Costa Rica and Spain play Tuesday afternoon in their opening match of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Costa Rica looks to start its own legacy on the women’s side after reaching its first World Cup. Costa Rica plays with a technical style and likes to speed the game up once it gets out in space. Raquel Rodríguez will be Costa Rica’s go-to player with 24 national goals at 21 years old, while goalie Dinnia Diaz holds the fort down defensively after really shining during qualifying. Shirley Cruz Traña brings the experience, as she’s been on the team since 2003 and has 21 goals in 60 caps. The concern with Costa Rica is the limited experience against higher competition and international teams. You have to wonder if just making this tournament is good enough for an inexperienced Costa Rica squad. No player is older than 29 years old.
Spain also looks to turn some heads as it makes its first women’s World Cup after dominating qualifying. Spain has a fighting chance against anybody due to the play of Verónica Boquete, who is one of the top female soccer players in the world and has 30 goals in 45 caps for Spain. Spain likes to play a possession game and spread the field offensively, putting ultimate pressure on the defense. Sonia Bermudez is another Spain player who usually plays her best when the lights are bright, and she’ll be the team's x-factor this tournament. The main concern for Spain is on the defensive end, as this team isn’t the same when it doesn’t control the ball. However, goalie Ainhoa Tirapu has held her own and can make up for a lot of defensive mistakes.
This is just an unfair mismatch, as Costa Rica isn’t experienced or deep enough to hang with Spain. Costa Rica also doesn’t have a playmaker who can provide instant offense the way Boquete can and will.
Look for an ugly match that has Spain covering the spread.