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SPORT: Spain cruise past Portugal at women's Euro

Amanda Sampedro (L) of Spain controls the ball past Tatiana Pinto (R) of Portugal during the UEFA Women’s Euro 2017 football tournament match between Spain and Portugal at Stadion De Vijverberg in Doetinchem on July 19, 2017. DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP

First-half goals from Vicky Losada and Amanda Sampedro handed Spain a convincing 2-0 win against Euro newcomers Portugal in the Group D opener at the women's Euro tournament on Wednesday.

Losada opened the score on 23 minutes after a long pass from Andrea Pereira and the Barcelona midfielder slammed the ball past the helpless keeper Patricia Morais.

Atletico's Sampedro made it 2-0 three minutes before half time, heading in a cross from Mariona Caldentey.

"I'm happy with the result, our first half was almost perfect," said Spain coach Jorge Vilda.

"They are really strong defensively, but we were better."

Spain, who won both qualifiers against Portugal in the Euro 2017 campaign, started with seven players from Champions League semi-finalists Barcelona.

In the eastern Dutch city of Doetinchem, they showed their dominance from the beginning, with Jennifer Hermoso firing over the bar early into the game while Silvia Meseguer was denied by Morais after a fine exchange in the box.

The second half was very much in the same vein.

Spain were in control, barely letting their rivals cross the halfway line and allowing Portugal to have a single shot from captain Claudia Neto which went wide.

At the other end, Hermoso saw her overhead kick headed to safety by a defender and Losada's long-range attempt was cleared by Morais who also stopped a vicious volley from substitute Maria Paz.

"We knew we would have to close all gaps in the first half but didn't do it," said Portugal coach Francisco Neto.

"It's not easy to have ball possession against a team like Spain."

In the other Group D game, England take on Scotland in Utrecht later on Wednesday.

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