Spain’s Jenni Hermoso scored a late winning goal on Friday in a glorious return to the national team following the unwanted kiss controversy that overshadowed La Roja’s World Cup win in August. The forward struck a left-footed drive in the 89th minute to give the world champions a 1-0 victory after coming on as a second half substitute in the UEFA Women’s Nations League match against Italy in Salerno. Television broadcasts showed traveling Spanish fans jumping for joy as Hermoso was surrounded by her celebrating teammates.
“When Italy sat deep, we needed someone like Jenni to step up with her shooting boots,” Spain’s head coach Montse Tomé said after the game. “That Jenni scored the goal makes us all very happy. We’ve seen her smile and she’s everyone’s smile.”
Hermoso, 33, who plays for Mexican club Pachuca Femenil, was not part of the Spain squad for their previous two games against Sweden and Switzerland in September. Tomé had explained her absence by saying she wanted to protect the star.
Hermoso received an outpouring of global support after Spanish Football Federation President Luis Rubiales forcibly kissed her during the medal ceremony following Spain’s Women’s World Cup final victory over England in Sydney two months ago. Rubiales’ unwanted kiss on Jennifer Hermoso ‘derailed’ joy of Spain’s Women’s World Cup success, says FIFA Secretary General
The fallout over Rubiales’ behavior triggered a crisis in Spanish soccer and sparked condemnation in Spain and across the world. Following weeks of fierce criticism, Rubiales, 46, resigned last month as the country’s soccer president.
He is now under investigation for “the crimes of sexual assault and coercion,” in a case being brought by Spanish prosecutors. Rubiales’ actions partly “ruined” the tournament and “derailed” Spain’s joyous celebrations, a senior official at soccer’s governing body FIFA said. “I didn’t take one second to realize that, oh, that was very inappropriate,” FIFA’s outgoing Secretary General Fatma Samoura told CNN Senior Sports Analyst Darren Lewis at the recent Best of Africa Awards in London. Spain next travel to Switzerland on October 31. © 2023 Cable News Network. A Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All Rights Reserved.
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