Teresa Abelleira of Spain (2nd-R) celebrates with teammates after scoring the 1-0 opening goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup group C soccer match between Spain and Zambia, in Auckland, New Zealand, 26 July 2023. EFE/EPA/HOW HWEE YOUNG

Easy wins see Spain, Japan move on to next round, Ireland eliminated by Canada

Sports Desk, Jul 26 (EFE).- Spain sealed their place in the round of 16 after thrashing Zambia 5-0 in their Group C match on Wednesday.

The Iberians, led by star Alexia Putellas, underlined their credentials as one of the favorites to win the tournament with another convincing display after they had beaten Costa Rica 3-0 in their opening match.

Teresa Abelleira’s thunderous strike from distance opened the scoring in the 9th minute, before Jenni Hermoso and Alba Redondo each scored a brace to round off the comfortable victory.

Spain will face Japan on Monday to decide which team will top the group.

Japan have also sealed their place in the next round after a routine 2-0 win against Costa Rica, thanks to two first half goals from Hikaru Naomoto and Aoba Fujino.

In Wednesday’s other match, Canada came back from behind to beat Ireland 2-1 in their Group B match.

Captain Katie McCabe scored an astonishing goal straight from a corner in the fourth minute – Ireland’s first ever World Cup goal – but Canada were able to turn the game around in the space of 10 minutes either side of half time.

Katie McCabe of Ireland reacts after losing the FIFA Women’s World Cup group B match between Canada and Ireland in Perth, Australia, 26 July 2023. EFE/EPA/RICHARD WAINWRIGHT AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY

The result means the Irish, who were making their first appearance at a World Cup, are eliminated from the competition, while Canada lead group B with 4 points and look well-placed to move on to the next round. EFE