Five-star Spain cruise into World Cup knockouts

Five-star spain cruise into world cup knockouts 0

On Wednesday, Spain demonstrated why they were considered the favorites heading into the Women’s World Cup by becoming one of the first teams to qualify for the knockout round of the competition.

They did this by cruising to a 5-0 victory against World Cup debutants Zambia in their last Group C match.

Jennifer Hermoso and Alba Redondo each scored twice to give Spain their second win, which also ensured Japan’s qualifying for the round of 16, since they had defeated Costa Rica 2-0 earlier in the day. Teresa Abelleira opened the scoring with a spectacular long-range strike to get things started.

While Spain and Japan, both with six points, will compete against one another on Monday for the top position in the group, Zambia and Costa Rica, both of which have been eliminated from competition, will compete against one another for third place.

“Despite the fact that we had scored five, we continued to search for a sixth. According to what Spain’s head coach Jorge Vilda said to the media, “that’s the kind of ambition I like to see in the team.”

As a result of Vilda’s decision to include Alexia Putellas in the starting lineup for Spain, the team received a lift in confidence prior to the game. Putellas, a two-time winner of the Ballon d’Or, had completely recovered from her injury and was engaged in the buildup play from the very beginning.

Abelleira calmed any initial worries with the quickest goal of the competition by picking up the ball in the ninth minute after an elaborate passing play and firing a shot from a long range that soared into the top corner of the goal. This was the quickest goal scored in the tournament.

After another four minutes, Hermoso scored a simple header at the far post to celebrate her 100th appearance for Spain. The goal was made possible when Zambia failed to defend a cross that was made by Putellas.

At halftime, Vilda made substitutions with Putellas, Ona Batlle, and Salma Paralluelo; nonetheless, Spain maintained their position as the dominant team.

The Zambian goalkeeper Eunice Sakala, who was in the lineup after Catherine Musonda was thrown off in their group opener, made numerous saves, but she was left unattended when Redondo was let through on goal as the attacker rounded the 21-year-old keeper to make it 3-0. Catherine Musonda was sent off in Zambia’s first game of the group round.


Hermoso, who was competing in her third World Cup at the time, snatched her second goal and Spain’s 50th when she pounced on a rebound off the post and sent it in. Hermoso was playing in her third World Cup.

Following considerable misunderstanding about the referee’s original decision that the goal was disallowed due to offside, the goal was given credit following a review by the video assistant referee (VAR).

“No goal! The referee, Jeong Oh-Hyeon, first said that there was no offside, but then quickly corrected herself as Spain gazed on in bewilderment before realizing that it had been granted.

“Mentally and physically, I’m in a very good spot,” Hermoso, who is 33 years old, stated. “I’m having fun with football, and I consider myself fortunate to be able to defend this shirt and my country,” I said.

Redondo subsequently scored Spain’s fifth goal late in the match by beating the offside trap. This goal was also given after a review by the video assistance referee (VAR) after the assistant referee signalled for offside.

Zambia had several opportunities to score on the counterattack, but their attempts were all off target and they were unable to challenge Misa Rodriguez in the Spanish goal.

“Spain are very experienced… we are just developing, we still need more experience,” stated the captain of the Zambian team, Barbra Banda.

“When you create opportunities, you really need to make the most of them. Unfortunately, we were unable to locate any goals.

However, Sakala got the last word when she produced a series of saves to prevent Hermoso and Redondo from scoring hat-tricks by preventing them from scoring hat-tricks.

“Today’s game, we actually played much better than we did in the first game,” Zambia coach Bruce Mwape stated.

“Spain has a lot of experience, and they’ve played well from the first whistle all the way up until the final whistle,” the announcer said.

“I have no doubt that we have picked up a thing or two from this competition. In the last game (against Costa Rica), we are going to give it our all and attempt to perform as well as we can.

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