Spain coach Jorge Vilda warned there is more to come from his side after they thrashed Zambia to progress to the last 16 of the Fifa Women’s World Cup with a game to spare.

Jenni Hermoso and Alba Redondo both scored twice as the Spanish secured a second successive win at the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

Spain have scored eight goals so far without reply, underlining their credentials as potential World Cup winners, but Vilda insists his side can play even better.

Spain play Japan on Monday, 31 July (08:00 BST) in a game that will decide the Group C winner, and the Vilda said: “We haven’t seen the best version of Spain, that is absolutely clear.

“We have four days to improve, recover physically and mentally, and put in a better performance against Japan.”

Spain opened their campaign with a comfortable 3-0 win against Costa Rica last week, having a total of 46 shots on goal.

They picked up where they left off against Zambia, racing into a ninth-minute lead when Teresa Abelleira drove in a stunning strike from distance.

Hermoso doubled the lead just four minutes later, heading home a cross on her 100th appearance for her country.

Redondo then rounded the goalkeeper in the second half before Hermoso scored her 50th international goal late on after a lengthy video assistant referee check.

Hermoso almost had a hat-trick soon after but her shot was pushed on to the crossbar, but Spain got their fifth when Redondo drove home in the final few minutes.

The victory also ensured Japan – who beat Costa Rica 2-0 earlier on Thursday – also progress. Spain are currently ahead of Japan on goal difference and a draw with them on Monday will secure first place for Vilda’s side.

Putellas returns as Spain send out warning

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

The Barcelona midfielder showed no signs of rustiness as she was heavily involved in the action from the outset, and it was her cross that produced Spain’s second as she picked out Hermoso at the far post.

The two early goals hinted at a big win for Spain but Zambia – who would be eliminated with a defeat – did well to hold their opponents at bay until 20 minutes before the end.

By then, Zambia’s tiredness and Spain’s quality told as they added three further strikes to fairly reflect their overall dominance.

They also secured a second clean sheet of the tournament and a 13th win from the 15 games they have played since they were beaten by England in the Euro 2022 quarter-finals, with this latest victory sure to make their rivals sit up and notice.



Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Rodríguez Rivero
  • 2BatlleSubstituted forHernándezat 45′minutes
  • 4Paredes
  • 5Andrés
  • 19Carmona
  • 6BonmatíSubstituted forGuerreroat 61′minutes
  • 3Abelleira
  • 11PutellasSubstituted forRedondoat 45′minutes
  • 18ParallueloSubstituted forNavarroat 45′minutes
  • 10Hermoso
  • 8Caldentey OliverSubstituted fordel Castilloat 83′minutesSubstituted forat 0′minutes


  • 7Guerrero
  • 9González
  • 12Hernández
  • 13Salón
  • 14Codina
  • 15Navarro
  • 16Pérez
  • 17Redondo
  • 20Gálvez
  • 21Zornoza
  • 22del Castillo
  • 23Coll Lluch


Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 18Sakala
  • 8Belemu
  • 15Musesa
  • 3MweembaSubstituted forPhiriat 76′minutes
  • 13TemboBooked at 90mins
  • 14Lungu
  • 4BandaSubstituted forWilombeat 37′minutes
  • 19MapepaSubstituted forChitunduat 37′minutes
  • 12KatongoSubstituted forLubandjiat 76′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 17Kundananji
  • 11Banda


  • 2Soko
  • 5Mulenga
  • 6Wilombe
  • 7Lubandji
  • 9Mubanga
  • 10Selemani
  • 16Lungu
  • 20Chanda
  • 21Chitundu
  • 22Banda
  • 23Phiri

Hyeon-Jeong Oh


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