The Copper Queens of Zambia have been knocked out of the ongoing 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand by Spain, who booked their round of 16 ticket with a thumping 5–0 win on Wednesday afternoon.
Spain’s 33-year-old veteran striker Jenni Hermoso and midfielder Alba Redondo both got braces in the game to condemn the 2022 Women’s AFCON third-place medalists to an early exit.
Zambia have not scored a goal in the tournament and have conceded five for the second straight game. Their next match is against Costa Rica, who are also on their way out.
— Leagues Reporter (@LeaguesReporter) July 26, 2023
Spain 5– 0 Zambia: The match as it happened
Captain Barbara Banda once again led the line for the Copper Queens against a Spanish side which had some of the world’s best players in their ranks.
Ballon d’Or holder Alexia Putellas and Hermoso were the two biggest names on the pitch for the sixth-ranked women’s team in the world. 77th-ranked Zambia, despite having Olympic top scorer Banda, did not look like a challenge.
An upset was hoped for but reality turned out otherwise. Zambia worked to see that the upset did happen but Spain recovered quickly, showing their quality in tournaments like these to open the scoring.
Teresa Abelleira settled the nerves of the Spanish fans by scoring the fastest goal of the tournament so far in the ninth minute with a long-range belter that beat Zambia goalkeeper Eunice Sakala and nestled in the top corner. Four minutes later, Hermoso got on the scoresheet on her 100th cap for Spain with a free header for her 49th Spain goal. The goal was assisted by Putellas.
Zambia were left chasing the game from that moment on and barely mustered any offensive attempts that troubled the Spain backline. Sakala, however, was kept very busy from the time of Hermoso’s first to her second – her 50th for Spain in 100 caps – which came in the second half, in the 70th minute.
Before Hermoso got her brace, Redondo had scored just a minute earlier to put Spain 3 – 0 up. The attacking midfielder was put through on goal and she the 21-year-old Sakala for her first goal of the game. She got her brace on the other side of Hermoso’s goal after beating Zambia’s offside trap in the 85th minute. VAR awarded the goal after it was initially ruled out for offside.
It was Spain’s biggest victory in their FIFA Women’s World Cup history and Zambia’s biggest loss after their 5 – 0 thrashing from Japan in the first group game.
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) July 26, 2023
Moments from Spain vs Zambia at the FIFA WWC AUS/NZ
Many interesting moments were captured by the photographers on duty at the Group H opener of Morocco and Germany. See some of them below.
Stay tuned to Goalball Live for excellent coverage on the African teams at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.
This article was most recently revised and updated 2 months ago