Day three at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup saw England narrowly beat Haiti, Denmark defeat China, Japan and USA record comfortable wins.
The Lionesses had to settle for a one-goal victory over Group D underdogs Haiti, in front of 44,369 at Brisbane Stadium,
England took a 27th-minute lead from the day’s second twice-taken penalty, Georgia Stanway successful after Kerly Theus turned the first round the post.
Mary Earps had to turn a Melchie Dumornay strike onto the bar, Theus tipped over an Alessia Russo header.
Only Earps’ outstretched boot denied Roseline Éloissaint a late leveller.
USA began their defence of the trophy with a 3-0 victory over Vietnam, the opening Group E game attracting a crowd of over 41,000 to Auckland.
Megan Rapinoe made her 200th appearance but it was Sophia Smith who struck twice in the first half, her second coming deep into added time and surviving a VAR check for offside.
Smith also set up the third for Lindsey Horan in the 77th minute, while an Alex Morgan penalty was saved by Tran Thi Kim Thanh when it was 1-0.
Japan coasted to a 5-0 win over Zambia to lead Group C ahead of Spain, after hitting the post and having a goal ruled out for offside in a VAR check in the first quarter of the game.
Catherine Musonda made some saves to keep the scores level, until on 43 minutes Hinata Miyazawa turned in Aoba Fujino’s cross.
The first ten minutes after the restart saw VAR checks deny Japan both a goal and then a penalty, before Mina Tanaka netted the cross by Jun Endo.
Miyazawa doubled her tally, Endo made it 4-0 before Musonda was sent off and Riko Ueki scored from a twice-taken penalty, Eunice Sakala saving the initial one.
Denmark defeated China with a very late goal in England’s group, where VAR again played an important part.
Josefine Hasbo headed over the bar with the goal her mercy, while Wang Shanshan was close to heading a Danish free kick into her own net.
The 90th-minute decider came from Pernille Harder’s corner, which was met well with a header by Amalie Vangsgaard, the goal surviving a VAR check.
Fixtures for Sunday 23 July (UK times)
6am – Group G – Sweden v South Africa (live on BBC Two/BBC iPlayer/BBC Sport Website)
8.30am – Group E – Netherlands v Portugal (live on BBC One/BBC iPlayer/BBC Sport Website)
11am – Group F – France v Jamaica (live on ITV1/STV/ITVX/STV Player)