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Verónica winner lifts Spain above Switzerland

Published: Sunday 23 October 2011, 16.18CET
Verónica Boquete gave Spain vital 3-2 win against Switzerland after they lost a two-goal lead and told UEFA.com: "We will challenge Germany and might even beat them."
by Santi Retortillo
from Pabellón de la Ciudad del Fútbol

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Published: Sunday 23 October 2011, 16.18CET

Verónica winner lifts Spain above Switzerland

Verónica Boquete gave Spain vital 3-2 win against Switzerland after they lost a two-goal lead and told UEFA.com: "We will challenge Germany and might even beat them."

Spain let a two-goal lead slip from their grasp before Verónica Boquete secured a 3-2 win against Switzerland that leaves Ignacio Quereda's side top of UEFA Women's EURO 2013 qualifying Group 2.

At half-time, Spain were 2-0 up after Adriana had struck twice, but Ramona Bachmann and Jehona Mehmeti drew Switzerland level with 21 minutes to go. Undaunted, Spain seized back the momentum within two minutes as Verónica headed in to ensure her side join Germany on six points from two games, while Switzerland, who have now lost to both their main group rivals, have three from as many fixtures.

Switzerland began the game without first-choice goalkeeper Marisa Brunner and playmaker Lara Dickenmann through injury, and fell behind when Caroline Abbé fouled Adriana to concede a penalty which the striker converted. Spain's key player scored again nine minutes from half-time but Switzerland were transformed after the break, and Bachmann finished off a fine move by Ana Maria Crnogorčević down the left.

The visitors' spirits continued to soar and they were level when Mehmeti's spectacular free-kick flew past Ainhoa Tirapu but Switzerland were not equal for long and will now seek to recover at home to Kazakhstan on 24 November, the day Spain meet Germany. First, though, Spain travel to Kazakhstan on Thursday.

The win has given Spain the belief they can qualify automatically, despite the presence of seven-time European champions Germany in the group. Prolific forward Adriana took her qualification tally to four and was delighted with her own and the team's performance. "As a striker, I obviously like to score, but the most important thing here is the team and we won the points so we're happy," said the 24-year-old.

"We're growing as a team and we have been together for many years, fighting to be in the big competitions. We will continue to battle and know we will challenge Germany and might even beat them."

Following the win, thoughts immediately turned to the trip to Astana as Spain aim to take nine points from their first three games. "We know Kazakhstan will be a complicated test for us as they are a tough team," said midfielder Sonia. "We will nonetheless try to get three important points from that game and from there we will see what happens."

Switzerland captain Caroline Abbé, meanwhile, was left pondering what might have been after her side failed to perform in the opening 45 minutes. "We were a bit nervous at the beginning but in the second half we decided to go forward and definitely improved. We believed we could win when we equalised, but they scored the third goal very soon after and we just could not pull level again."

Last updated: 12/11/12 17.57CET

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