Spain, Germany lead Group B of Women’s World Cup

Spain, Germany lead Group B of Women’s World Cup

Agency News

Rennes (France) June 9: Spain saw off Women's World Cup debutants South Africa 3-1 and Germany edged China 1-0 in their respective opening matches at the tournament, claiming the top two spots in Group B.

Thembi Kgatlana, who plays for Chinese club Beijing Phoenix, gave South Africa the shock lead through a right-foot curl-in, before Jennifer Hermoso converted duo penalties for Spain to turn the table on Saturday.

The Atletico Madrid striker scored her first penalty in the 69th minute after South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk was called for a hand ball, and beat goalkeeper Andile Dlamini again in the 82nd minute. Lucia Garcia added a third goal with just one minute remaining on the clock, sealing the 3-1 comeback victory for Spain in Le Havre.

It's also the first ever World Cup win for the world No 13 Spaniards in history. Earlier on Saturday afternoon, two-time winners Germany claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win over China in their first Group B match in Rennes, as teenage midfielder Giulia Gwinn scored the only goal on the 66th minutes.

The 1999 runners-up China were overshadowed in terms of possessions and shooting attempts, but held firm and created opportunities in counter-attacks. Starting forward Yang Li squandered two huge opportunities before the interval, and former Paris Saint-German star player Wang Shuang created China's best chance after the restart by earning and launching a free kick.

With their respective victories, Spain and Germany temporarily stand first and second in Group A, while China are on the third and South Africa at the bottom. In the final game of the evening, Norway beat Nigeria 3-0 with two goals and an own goal in the first half, trailing top-rated hosts France in Group A on goal differences.