Co-hosts Spain opened the women's FIH World Cup in Terrassa with a 4-1 win over Canada ©Getty Images

Spain, co-hosts with The Netherlands for the Women's International Hockey Federation (FIH) Hockey World Cup, opened the competition with a comprehensive 4-1 win over Canada at the Estadi Olimpic de Terrassa.

Three goals in the second quarter from Xantal Gine, Maria Lopez and Begona Garcia settled the result after Belen Iglesias had given Spain a fourth-minute lead. 

After a goalless third quarter, Karli Johansen pulled one back for Canada, but that was the extent of their recovery.

Four years ago, a 3-1 victory over Australia earned Spain its first World Cup medal, a bronze, when the event was held at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre in London.

The podium evaded them at last year's Tokyo Olympics, where they were beaten in the quarter-finals by eventual bronze medallists Britain, but now they are off in pursuit of further World Cup kudos in a competition where the final will be played in the same Terrassa stadium on July 17.

Tomorrow the Estadi Olimpic is to host a meeting of the other two Pool C teams, Tokyo 2020 silver medallists Argentina and South Korea, before staging the opening Pool D game between Australia - fourth at the last World Cup - and Japan.

Meanwhile the Dutch venue, the Wagener Stadium in Amstelveen, is to stage three matches, starting with the Pool B game between New Zealand and China.

This will be followed by two Pool B matches, the first between Germany and Chile.

The second is to feature hosts The Netherlands that won Olympic gold last summer; and is now seeking a third consecutive World Cup title and an ninth overall.

A quirk of the draw means The Netherlands will open their campaign against Ireland, whom they beat in the last World Cup final in London.