Women’s World Cup: Spain and China play to scoreless draw
Spain and China played to a scoreless draw Monday that advanced both squads to the round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup.
Spain finished second in Group B behind Germany. Spain advanced to the knockout stage for the first time and will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims — likely the United States if the Americans win or draw in its final group match against Sweden.
China has advanced to the knockout stage at each of its seven World Cup appearances. It finished third in the group at 1-1-1.
Spain also finished 1-1-1.
La Roja’s best chance came in the 39th minute but Peng Shimeng stopped Jennifer Hermoso’s header off a cross from Virginia Torrecilla. China’s goalkeeper also fended off Alexia Putellas’ free kick in the 71st.
Peng got her fingertips on another shot from Hermoso in the 86th minute to deflect the ball over the net as Spain appeared to apply pressure in the waning minutes.
Germany 4, South Africa 0: Germany won its Women’s World Cup group for the fifth consecutive time and avoided an immediate matchup with the United States by routing South Africa 4-0 on Monday.
Germany topped Group B with a 3-0 record and will play a third place team in its round of 16 match Saturday at Grenoble.
Germany had to grind out 1-0 wins over both China and Spain, but its offense finally broke out with three goals in the first half against South Africa. That matched its total goals in its previous five World Cup games.
Germany had already clinched a spot in the round of 16 before the game began against South Africa.
South Africa was winless in group play and outscored 8-1. At 49th, South Africa had the lowest ranking of the 24 teams in the tournament.
Spain finished Group B as runner-up after a 0-0 draw with China, and advanced to the knockout stage for the first time. Spain will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims and the United States would be the opponent with a victory or draw in its final group match against Sweden.
Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute with her first goal for Germany since the 2016 Olympics. Sara Dabritz doubled the lead in the 29th minute and Alexandra Popp made it 3-0 in the 40th. Lina Magull added the final goal in the 58thth.
Two-time tournament champion Germany has not lost a match in group play since falling to Sweden in 1995.
France 1, Nigeria 0: France completed World Cup group play with a 3-0 record for the first time, beating Nigeria when Wendie Renard converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute after missing her first attempt but getting a second chance.
France will play a third-place team on Sunday at Le Havre in the round of 16, and the winner will advance to a quarterfinal against the United States, Sweden or Spain.
Referee Melissa Borjas of Honduras awarded the penalty kick when Viviane Asseyi was knocked over by Ngozi Ebere, a call upheld in a video review and one that drew vehement protests from the Super Falcons. Eberle was given her second yellow card of the match for the foul, causing Nigeria to finish a player short.
Renard’s initial attempt was wide to the right of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, but Borjas ordered the kick retaken because Nnadozie came off the line before the ball was kicked. Renard’s second try went in to Nnadozie’s right for her third goal of the tournament.
A crowd of 28,267 watched host nation Les Bleues outshoot Nigeria 22-2 and hold 69 percent possession. France advance to the knockout stage for the third straight World Cup.
Nigeria finished third in Group A with three points and a minus-two goal difference, and the Super Falcons will have to wait to find out whether they can advance as one of the four top third-place teams. Nigeria has played in every Women’s World Cup but advanced past the group stage just once, reaching the quarterfinals in 1999.
Norway 2, South Korea 1: Norway knocked South Korea out of the Women’s World Cup by scoring on two penalties.
Caroline Graham Hansen scored after five minutes and Isabell Herlovsen beat goalkeeper Kim Min-jung from the spot six minutes into the second half.
Yeo Min-ji converted in the 78th minute but couldn’t spark a South Korean comeback.
South Korea went 3-0 in France with one goal while allowing eight. Norway advanced to the round of 16 as runners up in Group A, which was won by host nation France.
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