Spain advances to the knockout stages after defeating Zambia.

The Spanish kicked off their Group C campaign with a 3-0 win over Costa Rica last week, firing 46 shots on goal.

They continued where they left off against Zambia, jumping into a ninth-minute lead when Teresa Abelleira struck from long range.

Just four minutes later, Hermoso increased the lead by heading home a cross on her 100th appearance for her country.

In the second half, Redondo beat the goalkeeper before Hermoso scored her 50th international goal late in the game after a lengthy video assistance referee check.

Soon after, Hermoso almost had a hat-trick, but her shot was deflected off the crossbar, but Spain earned their fifth when Redondo drove home in the dying few minutes.

Japan, who defeated Costa Rica 2-0 earlier in the day, also advanced, and the two teams will face off for first place on Monday, July 31 (08:00 BST).

Putellas reappears as Spain issues a warning

 

Alexia Putellas, a two-time Ballon d’Or winner, was named on the bench in Spain’s opening against Costa Rica after working her way back to full health following a long-term injury, but she started against Women’s World Cup debutants Zambia.

The Barcelona midfielder showed no symptoms of rustiness as she was fully involved in the action from the start, and it was her cross that resulted in Spain’s second goal, as she found Hermoso at the far post.

The two early goals suggested a massive win for Spain, but Zambia, who would be eliminated if they lost, held their opponents at bay until 20 minutes from the end.

Zambia’s fatigue and Spain’s talent had taken their toll by then, as they added three more strikes to fairly reflect their overall dominance.

They also recorded their second clean sheet of the tournament and their 13th win in the 15 games since being defeated by England in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals, with this latest success sure to make their opponents sit up and take notice.

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