A 66th minute strike by Giulia Gwinn was enough to give Germany a 1-0 win over China on Day Two of France 2019.
As expected the match was a tight affair, although the German ladies had better ball possession.
China’s Yang Li squandered two big first-half opportunities – including hitting the post.
In a case of deja vu, Gwinn scored against the same opponents in last year’s U-20 Women’s World Cup – also to make it 1-0, and also in the group stages.
For the Chinese, the stats after the game are not cheery to say the least.
Six out of the last seven Chinese matches at the Women’s World Cup have ended in 1-0 defeats; a fact that must give coach Jia Xiuquan plenty to think about.
“There was a lot of pressure on our defence, and in our attack we created opportunities. All of this is what we worked on in training and today this was reflected on the pitch, but of course we need to do much more. Compared to Germany we are not at the same level, but it does not mean we cannot fight,” he said.
But for his German counterpart Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, her bold decision make several personnel changes – also including Lena Oberdorf as the youngest German player ever to feature at a FIFA Women’s World Cup – has paid dividends.
The Olympic champions now lie in wait for second-timers Spain and debutants Bayana Bayana of South Africa.