FIFA Women’s World Cup: Spain, Switzerland measure up each other ahead of last-16 clash

Spain will look to bounce back from the bitter disappointment of losing to Japan in the group stage to be victorious in its group of 16 game on Saturday against Switzerland.

Published : Aug 04, 2023 21:40 IST - 2 MINS READ

Spain’s head coach Jorge Vilda directs his team during practice.
Spain’s head coach Jorge Vilda directs his team during practice. | Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/AP

Spain’s head coach Jorge Vilda directs his team during practice. | Photo Credit: Abbie Parr/AP

While Spain was reeling after its 4-0 rout by Japan in its final group game at the Women’s World Cup this week, coach Jorge Vilda said rather than brushing the painful loss off, they studied it from every possible angle.

Vilda is confident La Roja - The Red One - will bounce back from that bitter disappointment to be victorious in its round of 16 game on Saturday against Switzerland.

READ MORE: WWC 2023 heats up as former champions Norway and Japan square up

“The defeat of the other day, we haven’t forgotten about it and we will not forget about it. These types of defeats leave a deep mark upon us, but they are also necessary in the evolutionary development of the team and process of growth,” Vilda said at a press conference on Friday.

Sixth-ranked Spain kicked off its campaign by beating Zambia and Costa Rica by a combined 8-0. But Japan, which finished atop Group C, put on a counter-attacking clinic against Spain, which advanced to the final 16 for the second time in three appearances at the global tournament.

“We’ve made a detailed analysis of everything that happened against Japan as a team, individually, the behaviour of the players, the goals, the positive aspects and negative aspects,” Vilda said.

“Of course, one of the aspects that we have to improve is to be ready for the counter-attacks. It’s a question of defensive positioning, the compact structure that will help us to be sure about defence in all situations.”

Switzerland, ranked 20th, kept a clean sheet in the group stage with a 2-0 win over the Philippines and scoreless draws against Norway and New Zealand.

“Switzerland have something very valuable that in three games no one scored a goal against them. That means that the defence is very solid,” Vilda said.

“Of course we have to be more assertive in that run towards the goal,” Grings said. “We have really understood that message and we have helped to convey that with videos. I can also read from the body language from the players that it’s been quite an intensive week.”

“(Spain) have shown us weaknesses that we have analysed intensively with our team, however (Saturday) of course is a different match,” Grings said.

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