Day 11 of the 2019 World Cup saw France and Germany win their respective groups, with Norway, China and Spain also progressing to the next round. We say goodbye to Korea Republic and South Africa, while Nigeria face a nervous wait to see if they will be one of the best third placed sides.

 

CHINA v SPAIN

A goalless draw in Le Havre ensured both sides progressed to the Round of 16.

Spain began the game with the lion’s share of possession, as China were to content to put numbers behind the ball and wait for counter attacks.

Lucia Garcia looked lively up front for Spain, and had a couple of early chances. Jennifer Hermoso was also threatening, and as halftime approached her header drew an excellent save from Chinese goalkeeper Peng Shimeng.

This pattern continued in the second half, as Spain dominated. Peng saved well from Garcia with about an hour played, but her best came in the dying minutes, as she dove full length to her right to claw Patricia Guijarro’s 20 yard effort away from the bottom corner. Unsurprisingly, Peng was named as Player of the Match.

Superior goal difference means Spain finish second in Group B, while China’s four point tally is enough to see them into the Round of 16 as one of the four best third placed teams.

China 0

Spain 0

 

SOUTH AFRICA v GERMANY

The Germans finished Group B with a perfect record after convincingly defeating South Africa 4-0 in Montpellier.

Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute, getting on the end of an inswinging corner kick from Verena Schweers and planting a header in the bottom corner.

German skipper Alexandra Popp then missed a great chance, however her side would make it 2-0 just before the half hour, Sara Däbritz pouncing on a goalkeeping error to net her second of the tournament.

Popp would atone for her earlier miss in the 40th minute, heading powerfully into the net from Giulia Gwinn’s cross.

The scoring was rounded off on 58 minutes. Germany’s aerial prowess would be on display again as Marina Hegering got her head to Carolin Simon’s free kick. South Africa goalkeeper Andile Dlamini pushed the ball onto the post, but Lina Magull was first to the rebound for an easy finish.

Despite the scoreline and the earlier error, Dlamini performed well in goal, and she would make a brilliant one on one save from Däbritz. South Africa’s best chance came a couple of minutes later when Thembi Kgatlana raced away, but Almuth Schult showed great reflexes to parry her shot.

Germany will begin the knockout stages on Saturday (local time) in Grenoble, with their opponent yet to be decided.

South Africa 0

Germany 4 (Leupolz 14’, Däbritz 29’, Popp 40’, Magull 58’)

 

KOREA REPUBLIC v NORWAY

Norway bounced back from defeat to France last time out, winning 2-1 over Korea Republic in Reims.

It was a perfect start for the Norwegians as they won an early penalty when Maria Thorisdottir was brought down inside the area. Caroline Hansen stepped up, making no mistake from the spot.

Korea Republic would then gain control of proceedings, however were unable to create many chances.

The second half began in a similar manner to the first, with Norway winning another penalty soon after the restart. Kang Chae-rim fouled Hansen, and Isabell Herlovsen’s spot kick was too powerful for Korean goalkeeper Kim Min-jeong.

The Koreans pulled a goal back on 78 minutes when Lee Guem-min found Yeo Min-ji with a lovely backheel, the forward finishing well. The late strike gave them the momentum, and they almost equalised with the last action of the contest, but Yeo’s header flew inches wide.

Next up for the Norwegians is a Round of 16 clash in Nice against the Group C runner-up.

Korea Republic 1 (Yeo Min-ji 78’)

Norway 2 (Hansen 5’, Herlovsen 51’)

 

NIGERIA v FRANCE

The hosts left it late to secure victory in Rennes, as Wendie Renard’s controversial 79th minute penalty made it three wins from three for the French.

France appeared to be nervous in the opening period, and could not make the breakthrough despite the majority of possession and a string of chances. This was also the general pattern of play after the interval, with Nigeria defending solidly, knowing that a draw would see them through to the knockout stages.

The drama began in the 73rd minute, as French forward Viviane Asseyi went to ground following a challenge from Ngozi Ebere. After a VAR review, a penalty was awarded, with Ebere receiving her marching orders for a second yellow card.

Renard took the responsibility, and looked to have let Nigeria off the hook when she struck the spot kick against the post. However, a second review ruled that Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie encroached. Renard took full advantage from the retake, sending her penalty into the top corner.

Nigeria were unable to hit back, and the hosts ended the group stage with a third victory.

France’s campaign will continue in Le Havre on Sunday (local time). The Nigerians are still in contention for a Round of 16 spot as one of the best third placed sides, but will need favourable results in the other groups.

Nigeria 0

France 1 (Wendie Renard 79’)