Zambia crashed out of the Fifa Women’s World Cup after a Jennifer Hermoso masterclass sent Spain through to the last 16 in style.
Teresa Abilleira opened the scoring early on, as she found the top corner from a distance just nine minutes in, after being assisted by Hermoso.
Four minutes later, Hermoso found the back of the net, herself with a close-range header. Her set-up and finish inside 13 minutes was the earliest a player has both scored and assisted in a Women’s World Cup game this century.
Zambia looked better as the half progressed, but could not find that first-ever Women’s World Cup goal they had sought for so long.
In the second period, Alba Redondo scored before and after Hermoso’s landmark 50th goal for Spain.
The Barcelona star’s brace at Eden Park could well have been a hattrick in her 100th game, barring a missed penalty just before half-time.
Nonetheless, her team were the better side over the course of the 90 minutes; and her goals were milestone ones on what was a memorable occasion for the 33-year-old.
After Japan qualified earlier in the day, Spain also booked their ticket to the knockout stages. The two teams will face off on Monday to decide which of them will win the group.
For Africa, the tough run down under continues with yet another heavy defeat.
Nigeria will look to alter the narrative when they face hosts Australia on Thursday before Banyana Banyana take on Argentina in the early hours of Friday morning.