Spain could have a psychological edge when they face Russia at UEFA Women's EURO 2013 after beating them 2-1 in a friendly in Murcia.
Verónica Boquete, whose last-gasp clincher against Scotland earned a dramatic qualifying play-off success in October, claimed the opener on Wednesday. The visitors levelled through Elena Morozova's strike ten minutes before the break only for Jennifer Hermoso to produce a late winner for the hosts.
In what proved to be an open encounter at the Pinatar Arena, the 1997 semi-finalists enjoyed the majority of the early chances and went ahead shortly before the quarter-hour when 'Vero' – who had a brief spell in Russia in 2011 with FC Energiya Voronezh – burst clear before applying a clever finish past goalkeeper Elvira Todua. Victors over Austria in a play-off for the finals, Russia responded and equalised when Morozova's quick turn fooled Spain No1 Ainhoa Tirapu who could not keep out the midfielder's effort.
Spain regained control after the restart and Jennifer, Adriana and Priscila Borja (an early substitute after Sonia's injury) all missed opportunities. Jennifer made amends after latching onto Vicky Losada's through pass to fire home in the final minute. The two sides will meet again in Group C in Norrkoping on 18 July after facing France and England.
Russia coach Sergei Lavrentyev said: "It should be understood that there are no miracles, and we have had only five training sessions, while Spain had already played a few training matches. However, we are satisfied with the game, although the result is disappointing."
His team remain in Spain for a training camp, with the rest of the squad taking on England's Under-23s on Friday while Ignacio Quereda's side will next play Austria on 13 February.
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