Spain scored two late goals to defeat New Zealand 2-0 at the Al Hassan International Stadium in Irbid at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016.
New Zealand defended valiantly throughout the match, but Spain eventually found the breakthrough when Spain captain Laia Aleixandri scored a superb goal from 25 yards out. Substitute striker Claudia Pina doubled La Rojita's lead five minutes later.
As expected, Costa Rica 2014 runners-up Spain generated far more shots on target than New Zealand and had the majority of possession, but the Young Football Ferns defended tenaciously throughout the match.
The Young Football Ferns knew the threat that Lorena Navarro, scorer of five goals against Jordan in the opening match, posed and she nearly scored her sixth of the tournament when she ran on to a cross on the back post in the 30th minute, but she was unable to steer her shot on target with her effort brushing the side netting.
New Zealand proved to be more of a challenge for Spain to break down than hosts Jordan were in the opening match. Indeed, they almost went ahead right before half-time when Jacqui Hand tried to loft in a shot to the far post from the corner of the penalty area, but her effort sailed just over Spain's crossbar.
In the second half, Spain continued to be dominant and left winger Candela Andujar proved dangerous for New Zealand on several occasions, most notably when she forced Leat into making a low save at her near post. Spain nearly went in front from the resulting corner, but New Zealand's defense were able to make a clearance off the line.
Just when New Zealand looked to be on their way to grabbing a crucial point, Aleixandri struck a shot with power and precision from 25 yards out into the top right corner to finally give Spain the lead. Pina, who came on for Navarro, then latched onto a defense-splitting pass from fellow substitute Nerea Eizaguirre before rounding Leat and scoring Spain's second of the match in the 85th minute.
The victory represents Spain's third against New Zealand in the competition's history, having won 3-1 in 2010 and 3-0 in 2014.*
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Laia Aleixandri (ESP)
* Mexico's subsequent 4-1 win over Jordan in Group A's later game guaranteed Spain's place in the last 16 and consigned New Zealand to elimination.