With an emphatic 4-0 win over Zambia on Tuesday led by Gabriela Garcia’s hat-trick, Venezuela moved closer to the knockout stage at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. La Vinotinto were the stronger side in the first match of the day in San Jose, and the South Americans nearly had a dream start only five minutes in.
Garcia had clear look and had the goalkeeper beat but her attempt narrowly missed wide. Venezuelamanaged to break through in the 14th minute when Deyna Castellanos received a well-timed through-ball from Garcia and slotted her shot past the outreached hands of Hazel Nali for her third goal of the tournament.
Venezuela were quick to add to their lead in the second half when Garcia hit the side-netting in the 47th minute and from there the South Americans remained in control of the match. Garcia scored on a looping header 12 minutes later and she completed her hat-trick four minutes from time when she was in alone against Nali and calmly finished.
The rout sees pointless Zambia at the bottom of Group A whole will face the tournament hosts in what will likely be their swansong, while Venezuela take on Italy next with one eye already on the second round.