Women's World Cup: Gwinn's 20-yard effort helps Germany win over China

Germany started its Women's World Cup campaign with victory, Giulia Gwinn's effort giving it a 1-0 triumph over China on Saturday.

Germany celebrate after youngster Gwinn found the net in the 65th minute.   -  Getty Images

Germany needed a piece of individual brilliance from Giulia Gwinn to break down stubborn China in a 1-0 Women's World Cup success in Rennes on Saturday.

Carolin Simon hit the crossbar for the two-time world champion in the first half but it could have fallen behind twice after needlessly giving the ball away at the back.

Yang Li was profligate for China, though, and Gwinn struck from 20 yards in the 66th minute to delight the 15,283-strong crowd.

Re-live the action: Germany 1-0 China

And that goal proved enough for Martina Voss-Tecklenburg's side in an entertaining Group B encounter.

China spent most of the first half defending but it also had the best two chances of the opening 45 minutes, the first coming when an errant pass from Germany's Sara Doorsoun led to a breakaway and a gilt-edged 17th-minute opportunity for Yang.

But the forward – following good build-up work from Gu Yasha – took a touch instead of shooting first time when presented with a clear sight of goal, a decision that gave Marina Hegering time to get back and make a crucial block.

Germany was denied the opener by the woodwork when Simon's 17th-minute cross floated onto the bar and it should have trailed at the break after another careless concession of possession.

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However, Yang, put through on goal by Zhang Rui, could only curl her effort against the post as both sides went to the break scoreless.

The deadlock was finally broken when a corner was only cleared to Gwinn at the edge of the penalty box, who took a touch before rifling into the back of the net, a strike worthy of winning any game.

Germany next face Spain in Valenciennes on Wednesday, while China take on South Africa in Paris on Thursday.

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