Soccer Results and Highlights [2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand] Goal Collection
Wed 26 Jul 2023
Group C Spain 5-0 Zambia
Spain rain goals in the Garden of Eden
Spain’s bid for a first-ever FIFA Women’s World Cup title is gaining momentum after sealing progression from Group C with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Zambia, whose cup journey was ended in Auckland.
After cruising to an opening-game victory, a fired-up La Roja looked to impose themselves on a side who had started on the wrong end of a 5-0 hammering. A dominant first half quickly ensued, and after managing a tournament-record 80% possession rate last time out, it was the turn of the Copper Queens to chase Spanish shadows as star player Alexia Putellas shined on her return to the starting lineup.
Surprisingly, the inevitable opener wasn’t typical Tiki Taka as Teresa Abelleira smashed a piledriver into the top corner from 25 yards. The second was draped in Spain style however, as Jennifer Hermoso nodded home after some scintillating buildup after 13 minutes. The quickfire double did little to dampen Zambia’s work rate but a lack of quality through midfield meant the threatening Barbra Banda found herself isolated in a difficult half for the African side.
Perhaps in an attempt to preserve his team’s energy, Jorge Vilda made several changes at the break, though the red waves continued to crash on the Zambia penalty area in the second half. Despite the clear superiority on the pitch, it appeared as though La Roja wouldn’t accept anything but a perfect team goal for their third, and the Spanish contingent in the stands must have wondered how their side was only two goals up on the hour mark.
Those same spectators might have been relieved to see the floodgates open as the game entered its finale with Alba Redondo tucking away Eva Navarro’s pinpoint pass before Hermoso secured her brace with a close-range finish. Spain’s assured brilliance contrasted with another blunted display from their opponents, who rarely threatened La Roja’s ominous eight-game winning run. An extra layer of gloss was added to the scoreline late on by Redondo, whose composed finish marked a miserable day for Zambia and stand-in keeper Eunice Sakala.
Player of the Match: Jennifer Hermoso (Spain)