Jenni Hermoso and Alba Redondo scored twice as Spain underlined their credentials as potential Fifa Women’s World Cup winners by thrashing Zambia to progress to the last 16 with a game to spare.
The Spanish opened their Group C 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.
Japan have qualified for the Fifa Women’s World Cup round of 16 after their routine win over Costa Rica was followed by Spain beating Zambia to ensure both progressed from Group C.
Hikaru Naomoto and Aoba Fujino both scored in the space of three first-half minutes to ease the 2011 champions to three points.
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Japan’s victory put them on the brink of qualification but they needed Spain to win to guarantee their place in the knockout stages with one game still to play.
Japan and Spain, who are the first sides to qualify, both have six points in Group C and will face off for top spot.
Australia forward Mary Fowler has been ruled out of her side’s second Women’s World Cup match on Thursday in the latest injury blow for the co-hosts.
Fowler suffered concussion in training on Tuesday and will not be available to face Nigeria, while defender Aivi Luik is also out with the same injury.
Manchester City striker Fowler started Australia’s opening win over the Republic of Ireland, which captain Sam Kerr missed with a calf injury.
Kerr remains out for the Nigeria match.
Written by: Debby Eselebor
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