Spain Wins First Match; South Africa Scores First Ever World Cup Goal

22 Jun

Spain received the full three points with three late goals including 2 penalties, to save them from a shock loss to South Africa who scored their first ever World Cup goal and led for the first seventy minutes.

Spain unsurprisingly started strong and within the first five minutes Caldentey challenged the defense and then immediately afterward keeper Dlamini who made a great save.

Both Losado and Leon had free kicks early on but they were poorly taken while South Africa held firm. Spain got a bit sloppy and gave up a free kick after a foul on Mthandi. Vilakazi took a dangerous free kick but Leon was there to clear it.

Hermoso and Sampedro kept the South African keeper on her toes but South Africa started to feel more comfortable and in the 25th minute Kgatlana scored South Africa’s first ever World Cup goal into the upper right hand corner. It was against the run of play and showed that the Spanish defense were too slow to react.

Losado and Hermoso kept knocking on the door but the South African defense was solid and organized and continued to hold firm until the half time whistle. Spain had more possession but they were unable to do much with the opportunities that they had.

As the second half started, Spain showed far more energy but still were unable to make a break in the South African defense, especially keeper Dlamini. South African striker Kgatlana made an attempt to double the score but unfortunately her kick was poor and it was cleared.

There was finally a crack in the South African defense when Van Wyk was ruled for a hand ball. Her arm was up and the cross hit her elbow. Defenders learned early in this World Cup to watch their arms! Hermoso took the penalty and equalized.

Torrecilla scored soon after that into an empty net but it was ruled offsides, But a second goal came after a VAR review showed Vilakazi with a foul on Lucia Garcia. Her boot landed on the thigh of Garcia after following through on the clearance. It did not appear deliberate but she was off with a red card, since she had been previously booked. Hermoso took the penalty again and though Dlamini guessed the right way, it was too far into the corner for her to save.

It was Lucia Garcia that puts the game away with her goal in the 89th minute after getting past both the keeper and a defender and put the goal into an empty net.

It was a rough start for South Africa after a solid first half. However, their first World Cup goal was something to celebrate and they can take heart in how organized their defense was for seventy minutes and build on that. Spain clearly have the talent but they will need to be far more careful with their defensive line and finish their chances.

Grand Stade du Havre, Le Havre, France
Attendance: 12, 044

Referees: Maria Carvajal (CHI), Leslie Vasquez (CHI), Loreto Toloza (CHI) , Laura Fortunato (ARG)

Line Ups:

RSA: Dlamini, Ramalepe, Van Wyk (Captain), Matlou, Vilakazi, Motlhalo (Ndimeni, 52’), Biyana, Jane, Mthandi (Seoposenwe 56’) Fulutudilu (Smeda 77) Kgatlana

SPA: Paños, Leon, Paredes, Corredera, Torrejon, Torrecilla, Losado (Bonmati 46’,) Putellas (N Garcia, 73’), Hermoso, Caldentey , Sanpedro (L. Garcia 46’)

 

– ForzaSusan

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