South Africa 0 -1 China, as it happened: China through to the knockouts, South Africa all but eliminated

Follow the live score and updates from a Group B match between South Africa and China in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.

Li Ying

China's Li Ying scored the opener for her side, taking it ahead of South Africa in the first half.   -  Getty Images

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's live blog of the FIFA Women's World Cup 2019.

I'm Lavanya Lakshminarayanan and I'll be taking you through the games of the night. We're coming off a spectacular comeback by Australia against Brazil. The Matildas trailed by 2 goals and fought back marvellously to trump Brazil 3 - 2. In case you missed it, here is the Australia vs Brazil game, as it happened.

For now the action moves to the Parc des Princes where South Africa takes on China in a group B match. Stay tuned for all the live action from the French capital.

For the match center and statistics, click here.

 

Follow the action LIVE:
 

Until then, goodbye and goodnight.

Thank you for joining us in our coverage of the Women's World Cup. I hope you enjoyed the games as much as I did.  Big games coming up next. Japan takes on Scotland, Jamaica and Italy face off and England takes on Argentina later today. Join us at 6.30pm IST as we take you through everything you need to know, plus live coverage of the games right here on Sportstar.

At the end of the day, the better team has won and we are all the better for it. With that, it's time to say goodbye too.

The results do no justice to the sheet talent South Africa possesses. The team had a good defense strategy, skilled runners, some good moments in the game and a few great shots that sadly didn't find the net. What they don't have is experience but this is a side that has the potential to get there. We hope the ladies don't lose heart, they have a lot to be proud of from this maiden World Cup campaign.

LATEST STANDINGS AND POINTS TABLE

Algorithm: Here are the ifs and buts of the qualification rigmarole. Read at your own risk

The last day of play for Group B will be a fascinating one as every side still technically has a chance to advance, while Germany, Spain, and China could all yet top the group. If the latter is to claim top spot, it will need to beat Spain on Monday and get help from today's opponents who would need to beat Germany. South Africa will certainly try to do so as it would give it a glimmer of hope to advance, but it would need to be far better than it was today.

Well-deserved win for China tonight. The Steel Roses go through to the knockout stages with Germany. Host France also makes is through now thanks to two victories from two games.
 

FT SOUTH AFRICA 0 - 1 CHINA


And the whistle goes off. China has won 1-0. China now has a loss and a win in this tournament and keeps its tournament hopes alive. South Africa, meanwhile, now have 2 defeats in 2 games and are all but sure of crashing out of its first ever Women's World Cup.

2 minutes to go. South Africa needs one to equalise and two to lead. China needs none, just a little patience to cross the finish line with a smile on their face.

China is giving the game its all in the final few minutes. Four minutes of added time now gives them the opportunity to try and increase that margin of a seemingly-definite victory. It also gives RSA 4 minutes to try and peg itself back.  China is taking the initiative and attacking that South African defense, ably countered by the women in yellow.

The first yellow card of the game was given a few minutes ago to South Africa's Matlou. China hasn't had one yellow card so far, which is a big positive, since it does need a full house for the tricky final game against Spain.

The girls in yellow have been tested and tested how.

South Africa is staring elimination in the face now. It has to think of a way and fast!

I don't know about tactics and gaming acumen, if there's one thing that gotten better for me personally through this first week of the FIFA Women's World Cup, it's the understanding of the difference between "must-win" and "must-not-lose". What a tournament!

85' SAVE! Han gets her head to a cross from close range, but Swart was able to parry it behind for a Chinese corner!

We have approximately 6 minutes (plus decided added time) to go for a final result. How about a quick question? Which South African player has her own football team?

80' 10 minutes left to play! Can China hold on, or will South Africa be able to find a goal and earn its first ever point at the Women's World Cup? We'll find out together!

The chants have begun and they're getting louder in bits. Fans are cheering their sides on as we enter the final 10 minutes of the game.

The US Soccer team currently finds itself wrapped in controversy despite a thunderous start to their World Cup title defense. If you haven't been in the loop of things, here's some help.

I, for one, cannot do no-contests. There's just no fun in it at all. Having said that, I had a whale of a time bringing you updates from the USA v Thailand tie. I am a hypocrite, I know. But it's hard not to appreciate a class act like Alex Morgan when the day is hers, irrespective of who she is playing against.

Reading the mood on Twitter and a conversation I had with a colleague earlier today, I am intrigued to know what you think about something. Would you rather have your favourite team play a dominant one-sided game or would you rather have a contest that drives you to sacrifise finger nails at an alarming rate? Safety or thrill?

Statistic: The aggregate score in the four games South Africa have played against China PR to date stands at 28-0. Seeing where the game is heading now, China is all set to take that to 29-0.


Seoposenwe has pace, the kind that can help Kgatlana. Is this the RSA camp's gameplan? If yes, will it pay off?

60' South Africa make their first switch as Seoposenwe replaces Fulutudilu in attack.

Kgatlana has been brilliant for South Africa. It's all about converting those chanced and attempts now. With under 30 minutes to go, South Africa needs to buck up.  

60' Wang Shuang is found with a lofted ball down the right wing where she attempts a cross to Wang Shanshan that's overhit and bounces away from the forward.

The African nations definitely know how to enjoy themselves. I have loved watching videos of the Jamaican and South African team jiving ahead of clashes or practice sessions. That's the level of motivation I need in life.

54' Since half-time, South Africa have had 54.7 per cent of the ball. It is starting to push up the wings more now as the momentum starts to swing their way. On the front foot now, RSA!

50' Kgatlana has been taking the fight to China all through. Encouraging signs for South Africa but hardly helpful if it can't convert that into something good for the scoreboard.

Wuang Shuang is now playing closer to the goal. Chin up, South Africa.

It all seems easy from where we're seated. China needs to, at the very least, just defend this score and ensure no dangerous passes get encouragement on the South African side. Banyaya Banyaya meanwhile just need to capitalise on their speed and outrun its opponent to the goalpost.

Action resumes in the second half. Follow all the updates LIVE right here.

FIFA has chipped in with an interesting statistic here.

China's record when scoring first in WWC history:

Won 14

Drawn 1

Lost 0


China dictated play for most of the first half and enters the break with a deserved 1-0 lead.

HT SOUTH AFRICA 0 - 1 CHINA


42' CHANCE! China thinks it has scored another off the right foot of Li Ying, but the referee doesn't think it's gone over the line and play continues!

40' LI YING SCORES. China draws first blood. What a reward for some brilliant football in the first half this.

We are thankful for some good weather in France today. Weather delays have been marring sporting events across this part of the world. Across the English Channel, the ICC Cricket World Cup is struggling to see matches happen thanks to some poor weather. The Women's World Cup saw a glimpse of that too with thunderstorms interrupting the Chile vs Sweden game.

34' Back to some football now. CHANCE! Gu launches down the left wing, cuts inside loses the first defender and van Wyk falls down! It's a clear goalscoring opportunity... and Gu faield to even get it on target. Poor finish from a great spot in the penalty area

There's more good news on the Semenya front. She can compete without restriction now. Click here for details.

If there's one thing South Africa has, it's pace. Isn't it a little obvious? South Africa has produced absolute wonders like Caster Semenya. Oh while we're on Semenya, the athlete, despite being in the middle of her tussle with the IAAF, sent out her wishes to the Banyana Banyana.

Don't worry. Socrates hasn't taken over this blog. It was hunger. I have had an energy bar. Sane me is good to go. I know another thing that could help right now - a goal!

I think I hyped up Banyana Banyana too much. It simply means the girls in an African vernacular. Although, you may ask, why must it mean anything else? My search for profound and elaborate concepts is hindering my appreciation of the simpler things.

23' Kgatlana launches a counter-attack, dribbles the ball into the box, lays it off for a teammate and... the pass lacks the pace required and is curt out by Lin. Better from South Africa though.

South Africa is finally taking a chance and targetting the Chinese goalpost. About time, ladies.

18' Almost the entire game has been played in South Africa's half, but the latter isn't being left too far behind in possession having held onto the ball for 45.2 per cent of the match thus far.

16' China is pulling off a disciplined performance in its first few minutes. The players are keeping up with every South African tactic, waiting to do one better. Good stuff from the Steel Roses (I am not obsessed with this name, I promise).

I have digressed and I am back. I will say this though. If we have anyone from China following the game with us, do pitch in and help us understand your team's nickname! It's beautiful. South Africa also have a name. Banyana Banyana. Explanation for that coming up in a few minutes. But first, let me bring you an update.

When I first heard that the Chinese women footballers were called the Steel Roses, I wondered what that meant? Are any of you scratching your chins wondering the same now? I did some googling and here's what I found.

The first appearance of this name seems to be after that unforgettable 1999 World Cup final, where China lost to the US Soccer team by a single penalty kick. I may just going on a late-night romantic literature whim here but the phrase 'steel rose', a contrast of strength and vulnerability is poetic to say the very least.

4' China almost gets another chance as a cross was sent in from the left that Li Ying just couldn't get a foot to, and it's picked up by Swart.

Have you spotted PSG player Wang Shuang yet? China has made a smart move by bringing her into this game. She is a local player on these pastures and will be crucial in dissecting that South African lineup.

1' Wang Yan takes a knock to the head. A medic is out there helping her. She has a smile on her face.

Qualification algorithms are coming into effect now as every game turns out to be crucial in deciding who makes it and who doesn't to the knockout stages.

0' KICKOFF.

China makes three changes as well following its loss to Germany. Lou, Yang, and Yao all find themselves on the bench, replaced by Wang Shuang, Wang Yan, and Li Ying. The latter is the biggest goal threat for the Steel Roses, with the forward recording seven goals during the AFC Women’s Cup, leading her nation.

Four players (Wang Shuang, Wang Shanshan, Yang Li, and Liu Shanshan) are sitting on yellow cards for China, and will need to be careful today or else risk missing out the group final against Spain.

Couple of changes for South Africa from its last game against Spain. Mbane, Makhabane, and Holweni come into the starting XI while Mthandi, Motlhalo, and Vilakazi all miss out.

The latter fails to even make the bench though, as she was shown a red card against Spain and is suspended for this match.

This could weaken an already struggling defence, but South Africa will not go down without a fight knowing that it basically needs to win this match or depart its first ever Women’s World Cup in the group stage.

I'm back and I hope so are you. This game has two teams with a lot at stake fighting for the comfort of 3 points tonight.

China lost its World Cup opener, a 1-0 loss to Germany, but will be feeling confident heading into this match seeing as it has beaten South Africa all four times it has played.

South Africa comes into this match in poor form, having lost its last three matches in all competitions including its disappointing 3-1 loss to Spain to open this tournament.

Over that stretch, Bayana Bayana have conceded a disappointing 13 goals. Ouch.

Hello again. Welcome back to the LIVE coverage of the FIFA Women's World Cup. Some exciting football awaits us as South Africa takes on China in a group B encounter in a few minutes. That Australia vs Brazil game was something and I need to catch a breather. Keep watching this space, we're bringing you all the updates from the Parc des Princes, LIVE. Until then, team updates and announcements.

TEAM NEWS

SOUTH AFRICA: (4-5-1): Swart; Ramalepe, Van Wyk, Matlou, Holweni; Kgatlana, Makhabane, Mbane, Biyana, Jane; Fulutudilu.

CHINA: (5-3-2): Peng Shimeng; Wang Yan, Lin Yuping, Han Peng, Wu Hiayan, Liu Shanshan; Wang Shuang, Zhang Rui, Gu Yasha; Wang Shanshan, Li Ying.

Referee: Katalin Kulcsar (Hungary)