AUCKLAND, New Zealand (AP) — Star playmaker Alexia Putellas came off the bench and goalkeeper Cata Coll made her full international debut on Saturday as Spain beat Switzerland 5-1 to reach the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals for the first time.
Coll, who was the only uncapped player in Spain’s roster, was a surprising replacement for Misa Rodriguez after Spain conceded four goals in a group-stage loss to Japan.
Spain coach Jorge Vilda made five changes to his starting lineup for the round of 16 match in response. That included a first start of the tournament for center back Laia Codina, who had an own goal early before scoring just before halftime to give Spain a 4-1 lead.
Two-time Ballon d’Or winner Putellas had a 10-month layoff with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee and is still recovering. Spain coaches have managed her gametime so far over the last month.
She went on in the 77th minute against Switzerland when the result was already beyond doubt.
___ AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/fifa-womens-world-cup
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