Spain defender Laia Codina’s blushes have been spared after she scored an own goal from 45 metres out in her nation’s round of 16 tie against Switzerland.
La Roja swept the Swiss aside in a 5-1 drubbing and opened the scoring as early as the fifth minuter when Aitana Bonmati swept the ball home to capitalise on Spain’s blistering start.
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However, Codina gift-wrapped an equaliser for Switzerland in the 11th minute.
Codina received the ball just inside her own half under little pressure and decided to recycle the ball back to her goalkeeper Cata Coll.
However, the defender passed it back without looking to see where Coll was standing.
Codina’s pass curved around a helpless Coll and into the back of the net, leaving just about every Spanish player stunned.
Football fans on Twitter were left equally baffled at the horror own goal.
Former AAP journalist Ed Jackson wrote: “That was the (own) goal of the tournament right there. What a disaster for Spain. Just car crash stuff.”
English football journalist Flo Lloyd-Hughes said: “We could make a montage of comedy back passes for the tournament.”
Yet Switzerland would enjoy parity on the scoresheet for as long as six minutes as Alba Redondo’s redirected header restored Spain’s lead.
Bonmati then got her second of the day when she turned on the ball to send several Switzerland defenders and their goalkeeper the wrong way before firing into an empty net for Spain’s third of the half.
Codina then got in on the act in the 45th minute when she found the back of the net at the other end of the pitch, poking the ball home after a goalmouth scramble from a Spain corner.
With the win all but secured, Spain took their foot off the gas pedal in the second half and added just one more goal to their tally in the form of Jennifer Hermoso in the 70th minute.
Spain will now face either South Africa or the Netherlands in the quarter finals.
Aug 5 R16 Fixtures (AEST)
Switzerland 1-5 Spain 15:00, Eden Park (Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau)
Japan v Norway 18:00, Wellington Regional Stadium (Wellington/Te Whanganui-a-tara): MATCH CENTRE