Women's World Cup: Spain and China play goalless draw, both progress to last-16

Follow live score and updates from the Women's World Cup Group B fixture between China and Spain in Le Havre.

Jennifer Hermoso (R) is challenged by Peng Han (L) during the Women's World Cup 2019 group B match between China and Spain.   -  Getty Images

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

I'm Shyam Vasudevan and I will be taking you through the Group B tie between China and Spain at Le Havre.


Alright guys, that's it from my side. But don't go anywhere, we have two more matches for the evening. Nigeria will take on host France, while Norway will face South Korea. Stay tuned to Sportstar to follow those games live. Cheers!

So that's how Group B ends. Germany cruises into the knockout stage with an unbeaten streak, while Spain also advances as runner-up. However, Spain has a daunting task ahead of it as it could potentially face defending champion USA in the last-16. Yikes!

ALL RESULTS AND STANDINGS

China also progresses as one of the best third-placed teams.

GROUP B STANDINGS

TeamGames PlayedWins-Draws-LossesGoal differencePoints
Germany33-0-0+69
Spain31-1-1+14
China31-1-104
South Africa30-0-3-70


FULL TIME!
It's a win-win if I may as both Spain and China have advanced to the round-of-16. And it's a historic moment for Spaniards as it's their first ever last-16 appearance!

90+4' Another corner for Spain, and China manages to clear it yet again! Anxious few seconds to go...

90' Attagirl! Peng is back on her feet and looks ready to continue her dominating performance under the bar. Four minutes, we will have four minutes of added time. Oh and Spain makes a late change, Celia Jimenez comes on for Garcia.

89' Ouch, that looks awful! Chinese goalkeeper Peng collides with the upright while saving a corner and she's down in a heap. I could hear the impact of her knee colliding with the post and it sounded terribly painful! It's a very worrying happening because China has used all three subs and will have to deploy an outfield player as the goalkeeper if Peng is injured!

86' The Spaniards are piling bodies ahead and applying some relentless pressure on the Chinese defence. A matter of time before we have the opener?

83' WHAT. A. SAVE. China's goalkeeper Shimeng Peng dives to her right to save Guijarro's vicious strike from over 20-yards out. And she makes another terrific save as I type this.. she has to the China's player of the game! 

Spain has dominated this game throughout, but has somehow found no way past the Chinese goalkeeper. Jorge Vilda's team has enjoyed 61 percent possession and 19 shots so far -- 6 on target -- compared to China's one. Yep, you read that right, the Chinese have had just one shot, which too was blocked.

77' Ah, just wide. A cross is floated into the box and Hermoso gets her head onto it, but the header is just wide.

75' Putella-Hermoso-Garcia! Some exquisite passing see's Garcia race into the box, but a red shirt swoops in to steal the ball from her. Spain continues to chase the elusive goal and has another 15 minutes to do so.

70' Oh wait, I almost forgot! China actually remains in contention for a last-16 spot if this game ends in a draw. Four best third-placed teams will make it to the knockouts and China could very well be one of them.

69' What a change of momentum, the Chinese have finally breached the Spanish box! Gu is played in on goal she whips in a cross to Yang Li, but Li  can't control it and Panos covers. China suddenly looks very dangerous on the counter.

66' Spain has looked extremely threatening this second half and the Chinese have managed to hold on. Nervous times, these. Oh and here's a stat - Spain have had FOURTEEN shots to China's ONE.

63' Booking! Li Wen has spent hardly seven minutes on the pitch and has hardly gotten herself booked. She loses the ball to Garcia and ends up sweeping the Spaniard off her feet, and not in the nice way. It's a reckless tackle and she goes into the book.

60' Need I remind you that this game is a virtual knockout game. Spain and China each have 3 points, but the Spaniards have a better goal difference and could advance to the last-16 with a draw. For the Chinese though, it's an absolute must-win game.

GOAL! Not here, but in the other game featuring Germany and South Africa. Lina Magull has found the back of the net and the Germans now have a massive 4-0 lead. You can follow that game LIVE here

55' Falcon has been a breath of fresh air so far. She's injected some much-needed pace on the right and has looked in sublime touch. Will she be the x-factor in today's game?

Speaking of x-factor....quite a fun show, no?

52' WHAT A CHANCE! The wily Hermoso starts a counter-attack with a lovely backheel that leads to a breakaway by Garcia. She dribbles into the box and has all the time and space in the world, but is caught between two minds. Do I shoot or do I cross? Well, I'm unsure of whether she shot or passed, but the strike/pass was anything but impressive.

50' And we finally have the first corner of the game! It was quite the dull opening half, eh? Spain wins the corner, but can't convert.

46' So both teams have made a change each after the interval. Spain's Mariona is replaced by Falcon on the left, while China has replaced Wang Shanshan by Yang Li.

Hey guys, this is Shyam here and I'll give you company for the second half. Amal's devouring a steaming hot bowl of noodles as we speak.

Here's some half-time reading for you: Why final group-stage matches are played at the same time

0-0 at HALF TIME

We'll be back with live updates from the second half. Don't go anywhere. My colleague Shyam Vasudevan will be taking over and taking you through the second half. I apologise for leaving midway. It's the hunger pangs, I swear. For those of you thinking "good riddance!", see you tomorrow.

After three minutes of stoppage time, it's still goalless at Le Havre. if the score stays like this, Spain goes through. Scroll down to see the possible scenarios or figure it out yourselves from the Results and Standings.

45' China creates a chance, totally against the run of play. The play reaches Spain's goal after a long time and a cross is played in but it's cleared away safely.

41' Oh wait. There's been another goal at Montpellier. Germany again. When are the goals going to come here?

39' CHANCE! Corredera plays a cross in and finds Hermoso unmarked. She heads it towards goal but it's saved.

36' Spain's central defenders Paredes and León are initiating attacks from the back. However, its game is not only about tiki-taka'  or passes through the lines today. There are also quite a few long balls in an attempt to disorganise the Chinese players and play more quickly from front-to-back. But the Chinese are getting back with great efficiency and cramping the Spanish players for space to shoot.

32' WILD! Mariona takes a shot from distance. It's powerful but wide. It's still Spain that's coming up with the chances in the first half.

30' Hermoso tries to play Nahikari through. It's slightly wide and she eventually gets to it but the angle's acute and the shot is easily scooped up by the goalkeeper. 

28' GOAL! Again, at Montpellier. Germany scores again. Go take a look at who scored.

25' It's Spain that has looked like scoring so far. Ouahabi’s cross reaches Hermoso who seemed to be in a good position to score, but she's quickly closed down by around EIGHT Chinese players. That must be what living in China feels like.

Oh it sure is. Four matches today. If you want to know why these matches are played at the same time, scroll down.

 

21' If China wins this, it'll go through to the knockout stages, sure. But it'll also create a strange personal record. It could win consecutive games in the Women’s World Cup for the first time since 1999, when it lost via penalties in the final against USA. China has gone from featuring in a final to not winning successive matches since.

18' I'm looking at China and South Africa's head-to-head stats and apparently they've never faced each other before. *Shock* Spain is ranked 13th in the world and China 16th, and it's strange how they've never met on a field before. I've googled; googled deep. Still can't find a competitive fixture between the two. If you find it, please let us know.

13' GOAL! Sorry not here, but at Montpellier. Germany has taken the lead. Quick, go take a look who scored.

8' OHH! We were so close to seeing the first goal of the match. Nahikari plays in a brilliant cross and Lucia Garcia stretches to get a touch in front of China's goalkeeper, Peng. But it's just wide. A big thumbs-up from Garcia.

4' There has already been at least a chance on either side. The early signs are of an exciting game ahead.

1' 3..2..1! The countdown's done, the whistle's blown and China sets the ball rolling.

Follow the action LIVE:

- The teams are out of the tunnel and are lining up for the anthems. China is unchanged from its 1-0 win over South Africa. Spain has made three changes. Ouahabi, Guijarro and Lucia Garcia come in. Scroll down for the full Starting XI list.

- Wondering why there are two matches being played at the same time? It's not organisational limitations or human error. It's actually a consequence of the events that transpired 37 years ago, in a match that has come to be known as the Disgrace of Gijon. Read more at Why final group-stage matches are played at the same time

- Germany and South Africa are out for the anthems at Montpellier. If you'd rather follow that match, my colleague Lavanya is on it. Follow Germany vs Spain LIVE here.

- We've got an important fixture on our hands today. China takes on Spain to secure a spot in the round of 16. Germany has secured qualification from the group with 6 points, and is expected to make easy work of South Africa today and top the group. 

China and Spain, meanwhile, are on three points each and when they face each other today, it's a knockout match. There's no chance both these teams can advance. Spain has a higher goal difference than China, so only a win is going to get China through. Spain, however, can still go through with a draw.

Starting XIs:

China (4-4-2): Peng Shimeng; Han Peng, Lin Yuping, Wu Hiayan, Liu Shanshan; Wang Shuang, Zhang Rui, Wang Yan, Gu Yasha; Wang Shanshan, Li Ying.

Spain (4-2-3-1): Paños; Corredera, Paredes, León, Ouahabi; Torrecilla, Guijarro; Lucía García, Formoso, Caldentey; Nahikari García.

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