Spain won a knockout game at a major tournament for the first time in their history, in a dominant 5-1 win over Switzerland, as they progressed to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, Reelradio.com.ng reports.
In front of a record crowd of 43,217 for a football match in New Zealand, the Spaniards put on a statement display as they chase a first women’s world cup trophy.
Spain got off to a flying start, taking the lead in the fifth minute as Aitana Bonmatí showed great composure to turn and fire past Gaëlle Thalmann after the Switzerland goalkeeper had initially made a stunning save from point-blank range.
However the Swiss were gifted a goal to draw level in bizarre circumstances as Laia Codina smashed the ball from near the halfway line towards her own goalkeeper but the ball flew into her own net. Just over five minutes later, Spain were back in front through Alba Redondo’s pinpoint header, and it was pure Spanish dominance for the remainder of the first half.
Bonmatí completed her brace to make it 3-1 for Spain 10 minutes before half time and Codina made up for her bizarre own goal after taking advantage of a scramble in the box to pok home, giving Spain a three-goal lead going into half time.
Switzerland responded in an attempt to turn things around with three half-time subs, all in midfield, but despite the changes in the middle of the park, it was Spain that continued to dominate possession and fired cross after cross into the Swiss box.
It took until around the hour mark for Spanish goalkeeper Cata Coll to be tested by a Swiss player Meriame Terchoun fired towards goal but it was superbly stopped.
Despite a minor Swiss resurgence, Spain killed any chances of a comeback, scoring a fifth goal in the 70th minute thanks to Jennifer Hermoso, who took advantage of a poor clearance to drill another goal and make it 5-1 for Spain, who comfortably closed things out in the final minutes.
The title contenders cruised their way to victory and will look to keep marching on in the quarterf-inals, where they will face the winner of Netherlands vs South Africa, following an easy win in the Round of 16.
As for Switzerland, getting out of the group was an achievement, but they couldn’t get it going against a Spain side that was simply much better.