An highly inspired Spain beat Switzerland 5-1 on Saturday to secure the nation’s place in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-finals for the first time.
Credible News reports that this was the second time Spain have hit five goals at Australia and New Zealand 2023, having defeated Zambia 5-0 in the group stage.
The team’s midfield maestro and Player of the Match , Aitana Bonmati scored twice, with Alba Redondo, Laia Codina and Jennifer Hermoso also on target in a dominant display.
Spain hit the front early on when Bonmati superbly cut the ball back onto her left foot before slotting home with a clever finish.
Switzerland soon equalised , though in a bizarre fashion.
Spain defender Codina misplaced a pass back to goalkeeper Cata Coll, with the ball rolling into the net to the amazement of the Eden Park crowd.
Jorge Vilda’s side responded defiantly to that shock blow and were back ahead.
This was when Redondo – starting her first game of the tournament – expertly placed an opportunistic header beyond Swiss stopper, Gaelle Thalmann.
Spain were relentless at this point and forged 3-1 ahead through the brilliant Bonmati.
If her first goal was good, then this one was exceptional.
With one stunning turn inside the penalty box, she dribbled three Swiss defenders and their goalkeeper, then calmly finished to double her team’s advantage.
Spain put the result beyond doubt just before half-time when Codina atoned for her own goal by prodding in from close range following a goal-mouth scramble.
The second half was a more competitive affair, with Switzerland substitute Meriame Terchoun’s snapshot forcing a smart save from Coll.
Spain were to have the last word though, with Hermoso completing the scoring with a clinical strike.
Spain will face the winner of Sunday’s tie between the Netherlands and South Africa in the quarter-final.
Spain coach, Jorge Vilda said that his team approached the game well and were very offensive which was the key to their victory.
“What I liked the most about the team was our competitiveness – how we went into the duels and how we won the duels.
“We showed what we can do, even without being at our best level. We made history by reaching the quarter-finals for the first time. We proved we are a team of 23 players and we are very happy”, he said.
Switzerland forward, Ramona Bachmann expressed disappointment over the team’s defeat, admitting however that they lost to a better side.
“Today it was just difficult. You could see that Spain was a class better. In the first 20-25 minutes we had a few good attacks, but we weren’t clever playing them through to the end.
“We wanted to be dangerous on the counter-attack, which worked out a few times in the first half, but not so much in the second”, she said.