Spain had to come from behind to overcome South Africa, Germany made China pay for not taking golden opportunities and Norway added to their strong first-half goal tally in World Cup competition.
Spot-kicks help rescue Spain
Spain scored three times in the last quarter of the match watched by over 12,000 in Le Havre, breaking the hearts of South Africa who had led through a wonderful Thembi Kgatlana strike.
Jenni Hermoso converted two penalties, the first given for a handball against Janine van Wyk, the second after Nothando Vilakazi followed through on Lucia Garcia for which she received a second yellow card.
Substitute Lucia Garcia made sure of the victory when latching onto a ball down the middle and beating the keeper and defender.
Germany win after China’s missed chances
Germany edged China by the only goal of the game, as the Steel Roses were left to rue missing first-half opportunities in front of the 15,283 crowd in Rennes
Carolin Simon hit the bar following a short corner with Germany on top but a physical Chinese side created the clear-cut chances.
Yang Li went closest when hitting the far post and Almuth Schult then made the save at the second attempt.
The decisive moment came midway through the second half, when 19-year-old Giulia Gwinn fired through a defenders’ legs.
GROUP A – Norway equal first-half goals record
Norway scored three first-half goals in a World Cup game for the seventh time as Nigeria were beaten 3-0, matching the record held by the USA.
Chelsea-bound Guro Reiten opened the scoring on 17 minutes with her shot deflected in by the hand of Onome Ebi, who is playing in her fifth World Cup.
Lisa-Marie Utland’s powerful strike flew through the hands of keeper Tochukwu Oluehi and then Osinachi Ohale diverted the ball into her own net from Isabell Herlovsen’s cross.
Super Falcons defender Faith Michael had a night to forget, twice being floored by her own keeper, the second occurence resulting in her being stretchered off.