Sports Desk, Aug 5 (EFE).- Spain bounced back from their humbling defeat to Japan in their last match to hammer Switzerland 5-1 on Saturday and qualify for the quarter finals of the World Cup for the first time.
It was the best possible response to losing 4-0 to the Japanese in their final group game, as Spain dominated in front of a record crowd for a soccer game in New Zealand.
Aitana Bonmati, who scored twice, was again the driving force behind Spain’s victory, which was secured after an impressive first half that saw La Roja take a 4-1 lead into the break.
The Barcelona playmaker also had two assists for Alba Redondo and Jennifer Hermoso, with Spain’s Laia Codina accounting for the game’s other two goals – a comical own goal which she made up for before half time.
In Saturday’s second match, Japan underlined their status as one of the tournament’s powerhouses with another impressive display.
The 2011 winners took an early lead through Ingrid Engen’s own goal, which was soon canceled out by Guro Reiten’s header.
Japan had restored their lead shortly after half time thanks to a deflected shot from Risa Shimizu, before Hinata Miyazawa – who leads the Golden Boot race with five goals – sealed the win late on.
Japan will face either the United States or Sweden in the last eight, while Spain will meet the winner of Sunday’s match between Netherlands and South Africa. EFE