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 (WWC).
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 WWC 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 HT and Codina made up for her bizarre OG after taking advantage of a scramble in the box to pok home, giving Spain a three-goal lead going into HT.
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.