Women World Cup: Spain qualifies to top 16 after thrashing Zambia

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Spain´s midfielder #10 Jennifer Hermoso (R) celebrates with teammates after the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women´s World Cup Group C football match between Spain and Zambia at Eden Park in Auckland on July 26, 2023.—AFP
Spain´s midfielder #10 Jennifer Hermoso (R) celebrates with teammates after the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women´s World Cup Group C football match between Spain and Zambia at Eden Park in Auckland on July 26, 2023.—AFP 

Spain’s national women’s soccer team routed Zambia, securing their spot in the last 16 of the FIFA Women’s World Cup with a game to spare.

Coached by Jorge Vilda, the Spanish side proved their potential as strong contenders for the World Cup title, having scored eight goals without conceding any.

The victory over Zambia showcased the brilliance of two standout players, Jenni Hermoso and Alba Redondo, both of whom scored twice during the match. Spain’s attacking prowess and strategic gameplay left Zambia struggling to keep up. 

The early goal by Teresa Abelleira, just nine minutes into the game, set the tone for what would be a dominant performance from the Spanish team.

Heading into the crucial Group C decider against Japan, Coach Vilda emphasised that Spain has not yet revealed its full potential. Despite their impressive run in the tournament, Vilda believes there’s still room for improvement, both physically and mentally. With four days to prepare, he expects Spain to put on an even better display against Japan and secure their position as Group C winners.

One notable return to the Spanish lineup was Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner. After recovering from a long-term injury, Putellas made her mark by contributing significantly to Spain’s attacking plays. Her well-timed cross led to Hermoso’s goal, further strengthening Spain’s position in the match.

Spain’s journey in the FIFA Women’s World Cup started on a positive note with a comfortable 3-0 win against Costa Rica. Their total of 46 shots on goal in that game highlighted their offensive prowess. Carrying the momentum into the match against Zambia, Spain’s victory was a testament to their consistency and determination.

With a second clean sheet of the tournament, Spain showcased not only their attacking prowess but also their defensive capabilities. Having won 13 out of their last 15 games, with their only defeats coming in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals against England, Spain is proving to be a formidable force in women’s soccer.

As they prepare to face Japan in a high-stakes encounter to determine the Group C winner, Spain sends a warning to their rivals with their dominating performances. Their relentless pursuit of victory and hunger for improvement makes them a team to watch in the upcoming knockout stages.

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