FIFA Women’s World Cup: Germany and France through as group winners
FIFA Women’s World Cup hosts France qualified for the last 16 as group winners, with Germany also topping their section after Monday’s action.
Norway, China, and Spain secured their progression into the knockout rounds but Nigeria faces a nervous wait to see if they also go through after losing narrowly to a late goal against France.
Wendie Renard’s third goal of the tournament earned a 1-0 victory in Rennes, the defender converting a twice-taken penalty after goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was penalized for moving off her line in saving the first attempt.
Ngozi Ebere was sent off for after the penalty was awarded following a VAR check, with Nigeria finishing third in the section ahead of South Korea but not certain of their fate.
Norway ensured they will be in the last 16 with a 2-1 defeat of South Korea secured thanks to a pair of converted penalties.
Caroline Graham Hansen scored the earliest spot-kick in Women’s World Cup history to get her side up and running in the fifth minute, with Isabell Herlovsen’s penalty doubling Norway’s lead.
South Korea hit back through Yeo Min-ji’s goal but they exit the tournament without collecting a point.
Germany’s two wins from two had them in control of Group B and they won again without conceding a goal thanks to a 4-0 defeat of South Africa, which ended Banyana Banyana’s slim qualification hopes.
First-half goals from Melanie Leupolz, Sara Dabritz and Alexandra Popp ensured Germany did not miss star player Dzsenifer Marozsan, who sat the game out due to a toe injury.
The rout was completed by Lina Magull in the second half with Germany looking among the strongest teams at the tournament so far, while Banyana Banyana head home from their first World Cup without any points.
In Group B’s other closing game, China and Spain both knew a draw would be enough to send them through to the last 16 and they played out a predictable stalemate in Le Havre.
Spain had 24 shots but could not find a way to beat China’s impressive goalkeeper Peng Shimeng, whose side have now progressed to the knockout stages in each of their seven Women’s World Cup appearances.