Spain 5-0 Zambia
Jorge Vilda went for a 4-3-3 against Zambia that included four Madridistas in the starting line-up: Misa on goal, Ivana and Olga in defense and Teresa in deep midfield.
The match started with constant pressure from the Spanish side. In the first 5 minutes, Eunice Sakala, Zambian goalkeeper, had to intervene twice to deny Spain’s attempts. However, Zambia’s luck didn’t last for long as Spain opened up the scoresheet in 9th minute.
It was no other than Real Madrid’s Teresa Abelleira who shot a rocket in after Hermoso’s back pass. Abelleira shot from outside of the penalty area showing what she does the best.
Four minutes later, came the second goal. Alexia Putellas got enough time to think in the penalty area and send the ball over Zambian defenders to the far post where Jenni Hermoso was unmarked and ready to push in a header.
On the other side, Zambia started attacking minutes after conceding the second goal. The Spanish line-up would pull up more and the Copper Queens knew when to start an attack. Kundananji and Banda were the ones leading the attack Paredes and Ivana would stay as the last line of defense at most times. The captain of Real Madrid and Spain, Ivana Andrés, had her hands full against a bullet of a player that is Barbra Banda.
There were no more goals in the first half, Zambia managed to calm down the match despite the two early substitutions they had to make. Jorge Vilda made a triple change at halftime - Redondo and Navarro instead of Putellas and Paralluelo, and Real Madrid’s new signing Oihane in for Batlle.
In the second half, Spain were looking more relaxed. In 69’ came another goal - Eva Navrro send the ball down from the right to Levante’s Alba Redondo who makes it 3-0.
A minute later there was another. The fourth goal was ruled offside at first. It was Hermoso’s second ruled out goal of the match. However, there was a check-over in which VAR determined the goal stood and Spain were up 4-0. The dilemma in this action was whether Olga Carmona was offside a bit earlier in the action and the check-over lasted for nearly 3 minutes until it was determined the left-back’s receiving pass was regular.
Eva Navarro was the star substitute this match alongside Redondo. She was actively tearing down the right flank and in 77’ she had another clear-cut chance where the Zambian goalkeeper did well in saving her shot. Navarro had 5 chances created in the 45 minutes played which was the most out of every player on pitch.
Real Madrid’s Athenea was brought on for Caldentey in 83’.
Funnily enough, there was another goal that was initially ruled out for offside - another action between Navarro and Redondo in 85’. The VAR checked over this goal as well and determined Redondo wasn’t offside and her goal stood. With this goal, the scoresheet was closed to 5-0.
There were 2 extra minutes on top of the 8 added due to attending Athenea for an injury. She was seen limping off the pitch. The match ended with one last attempt by Spain, from Irene Guerrero’s cross to Redondo’s head, Sakala had to make a save do deny Spain their 6th goal. After the final whistle, Athenea was seen carried by two members of the medical team to the other side, it didn’t look good.
Spain are through to the round of 16 and their 8 goals in favor puts them on the first spot on the table ahead of Japan against whom they still have to play.