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Women's World Cup: Germany advance after easy win

Germany players celenrate
Germany players celenrate

A review of Monday's action in the Women's World Cup, where both Group A and Group B reached their conclusions.

Straightforward for Germany

Germany sealed top spot in Group B as they eased past sorry South Africa with a 4-0 Women's World Cup victory in Montpellier on Monday.

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.

Melanie Leupolz put Germany in front after 14 minutes with a free header from close range in their final group match.

Leupolz's former Bayern Munich team-mate Sara Dabritz - who signed for Paris St Germain in May - doubled Germany's tally on the half-hour mark as she got on the scoresheet for the second successive game.

Germany left South Africa's slim chances of qualifying in tatters five minutes before the break as Wolfsburg striker Alexandra Popp headed in a third goal to make any chance of a comeback seem unlikely in the second half.

Lina Magull reacted fastest to slot home from close range for Germany's fourth just before the hour after Marina Hegering's header moments earlier rebounded off the post.

Spain and China both advance

Spain and China played out a goalless draw in their Women's World Cup 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 leaders 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.

Norway progress alongside France

Norway progressed to the knockout stages of the Women's World Cup after scoring a penalty in each half as they held off South Korea for a 2-1 Group A victory at Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.

Monday's win saw them finish runners-up behind hosts France, who advanced with maximum points after a narrow 1-0 win over Nigeria.

Norway got on the scoresheet with the earliest goal of this year's finals so far as new Barcelona signing Caroline Graham Hansen picked out the bottom-left corner with a fifth-minute spot-kick after Cho So-hyun brought down Maria Thorisdottir.

South Korea had numerous chances to draw level and they began to dominate soon after the opener as Yeo Min-ji had a header saved before Kang Chae-rim fired wide and Ji So-yun was also denied before the break.

But Kang conceded her side's second penalty of the match six minutes after the break for a foul on Hansen and Isabell Herlovsen made no mistake as she slotted home from the spot to double Norway's lead.

Opening scorer Hansen succumbed to her injuries moments later following the collision and was replaced by Frida Maanum.

Yeo pulled one back for South Korea with 12 minutes remaining as she tapped Lee Geum-min's assist home for their first goal of the tournament.

She headed wide at the death with a chance to go level but Norway held on as their opponents failed to record a point in the group stage and go home from France empty-handed.

Next up, Norway face the runners-up of Group C - Brazil or Australia - in the round-of-16 on Saturday.

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Most Read Football

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages1

Paper Talk: Big Salah deal

Liverpool could be ready to make Mohamed Salah the Premier League's top-paid player when they offer him a contract worth £22.4m a year.

A complete list of every completed summer 2019 transfer window deal2

Transfer Window: Done Deals

Get all the complete signings in the summer 2019 football transfer window from the Premier League, Sky Bet EFL and Europe.

Paper Talk has all the latest football gossip from the back pages3

Paper Talk: Lukaku in limbo

Inter Milan are getting cold feet over paying £75m for Romelu Lukaku but Juventus are upping their interest in Paul Pogba.

Pep Guardiola4

Guardiola confirms defender interest

Pep Guardiola has confirmed that Premier League champions Manchester City are in the market for a new centre-back.

Paul Pogba has had a difficult time at Manchester United5

The real Pogba problem

Paul Higham says whether Paul Pogba leaves or not is not the real question, it's how Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer deal with either decision.

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