Spain off the mark with first World Cup win

Aubrey Yates
June 12, 2019

Banyana Banyana suffered a 3-1 defeat against Spain in their first-ever FIFA Women's World Cup clash on Saturday evening.

Banyana qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history after finishing as runners-up in the CAF Women's Africa Cup Of Nations tournament in December previous year.

Spain, ranked No. 13 in the world, finished last in its group four years ago in Canada, the country's only other appearance in the tournament.

South Africa had looked on track for a shock win after Thembi Kgatlana struck a powerful shot from the corner of the area over the head of the Spain goalkeeper, Sandra Paños, in the 25th minute.

It got worse for Banyana on 82 minutes as after checking with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), the referee gave Nothando Vilakazi her marching orders while awarding Spain a second penalty, which Hermoso tucked away to complete her brace.

Lucia Garcia rounded South Africa's keeper Andile Dlamini and slotted residence to seal Spain the victory 3-1.

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Spain was not done, though, as Garcia capped her impressive cameo with a composed finish to move the team to the top of Group B.

With their respective victories, Spain and Germany temporarily stand first and second in Group A, while China are on the third and South Africa at the bottom.

South Africa is bottom of Group B and next face China in Paris on Thursday.

In an even first half at Roazhon Park, in the Brittany city of Rennes, Germany defender Carolin Simon hit the crossbar and China striker Yang Li hit the post.

In Group A, a first-half blitz by Norway saw them beat Nigeria 3-0.

New Zealand start their tournament with a match against the Netherlands on Wednesday at 1am.

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