FIFA Women's World Cup
Spain's dominant win keeps alive dream match with USWNT
FIFA Women's World Cup

Spain's dominant win keeps alive dream match with USWNT

Updated Aug. 5, 2023 3:42 a.m. ET

Spain midfield star Aitana Bonmatí scored twice as her team put together a spectacular display Saturday to sink Switzerland, 5-1, and give the top half of the World Cup bracket — which also includes the United States — a predictable start to the knockout stage.

Bonmati, who alongside with teammate Alexia Putellas, is considered to be among the best players in the world, scored the opening goal after five minutes and added another before halftime as Spain asserted its domination early in Auckland, New Zealand.

Switzerland vs. Spain highlights

Heading into the tournament, many neutrals looked eagerly at the possible permutations of the bracket, hoping for a blockbuster showdown between the USA and Spain.


That possibility remains alive, and it would come at the semifinal stage — but only if both teams survive a quarterfinal, and, in the USWNT's case, a round-of-16 showdown against Sweden before that (coverage begins at 4 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 5 a.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

[Switzerland vs. Spain highlights: Spain rolls into quarterfinals]

After getting blown out by Japan in the final round of Group C matches, this result was just what was needed to get the Spanish campaign back on track.

Bonmati's opener was a testament to calm thinking, as she collected the ball after a flurry of activity in the penalty area, and coolly placed it into the bottom corner.

Switzerland, so defensively resolute in winning Group A, equalized swiftly, and in bizarre fashion. Defender Laia Codina attempted to play the ball back to goalkeeper Cata Coll, but struck it too strongly and could only watch in dismay as it headed into the net.

It was only a brief respite. Alba Redondo put Spain back ahead on 17 minutes, Bonmati added another on 36, before Codina atoned for her early mistake by making it 4-1 just before the break.

After the interval Jenni Hermoso struck home the fifth, to comprehensively set up a quarterfinal in against the winner of the upcoming Netherlands v. South Africa clash (Saturday at 10 p.m. ET on FOX and the FOX Sports app).

Putellas was left out of the starting lineup due to injury concerns but came on late, as Spain continued to assert its authority. The margin of victory was the largest ever in the round of 16 in Women's World Cup history.

Recap of Spain's win over Switzerland from World Cup NOW

Furthermore, the first half onslaught was the first occasion in which a team had hit the net four times in the opening period of a World Cup game since the USA did so in defeating Japan in the 2015 final.

Spain is rolling once again. Normal service has been restored.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider newsletter. Follow him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the daily newsletter.

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