Monday 14 October 2019

Germany seal top spot in Group B with win over South Africa while Spain and China also qualify for last 16

Germany 4 South Africa 0

Germany's Lina Magull celebrates scoring their fourth goal in the Women's World Cup Group B clash at the Stade de La Mosson, Montpellier, France. Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
Germany's Lina Magull celebrates scoring their fourth goal in the Women's World Cup Group B clash at the Stade de La Mosson, Montpellier, France. Photo: REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

Player of the match Sara Dabritz admitted she was proud of Germany's winning record after they sealed top spot in the Women's World Cup Group B with a comfortable 4-0 victory over South Africa.

Following narrow 1-0 results in their opening two matches against China and Spain, the reigning Olympic champions progressed to the last 16 in style, while their opponents were sent home after three defeats

Goals from Melanie Leupolz, Dabritz, Alexandra Popp and Lina Magull made it maximum points from the group stage in Montpellier.

Former Bayern Munich midfielder Dabritz - who signed for Paris St Germain last month - doubled Germany's tally on the half-hour mark as she got on the scoresheet for the second successive game.

She said in her post-match interview as reported on Germany Women's Twitter account: "We won 4-0 today and we go through with nine points after three games.

"We can be proud of that."

China's Haiyan Wu, Li Yang and team mates celebrate in front of their fans after the Women's World Cup Group B draw with Spain in Le Havre, France. Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble
China's Haiyan Wu, Li Yang and team mates celebrate in front of their fans after the Women's World Cup Group B draw with Spain in Le Havre, France. Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble

Germany captain and scorer of the third goal, Popp was pleased with her side's performance and was delighted to get on the scoresheet.

She added: "It was important at first for us to let the ball go. We saw that we could play football.

"Being able to score a goal is good for my self-confidence."

Germany must wait to find out their next opponents, who they take on in Saturday's round-of-16 clash at Stade des Alpes in Grenoble..

Meanwhile, Spain and China played out a goalless draw in their clash in Le Harve - with both sides securing progression into the last 16 as a result.

With a point enough to qualify both nations out of Group B alongside Germany, it was Spain who had the better of the chances as the game ended 0-0.

A share of the spoils saw Jorge Vilda's Spain finish as runners-up and China progress as one of the four third-placed sides with the best record.

Spain dominated possession and crafted enough opportunities to win the game but were kept out by a defiant Chinese defensive effort.

Lucia Garcia came close with an early strike wide of the post before a rare mistake in the China backline allowed Jenni Hermoso to get in a free header which was cleared off the line.

Nahikari Garcia also passed up a decent chance after being slipped through but it was in the closing stages where Spain nearly scored a winner.

China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng, who had almost cost her side a goal earlier in the contest after steaming off her line, made a great save to deny Patri Guijarro with just six minutes left on the clock.

With Germany topping the group following three wins out of three, Spain advance in second place and will meet the United States or Sweden next Monday in Reims.

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