FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: Denmark 1 – 0 China. Amalie Vangsgaard scored a late winner as Denmark marked their their return from a 16-year Fifa Women’s World Cup absence with a 1-0 win over China.
The substitute, who had only been on the pitch for five minutes, headed home Pernille Harder’s corner in the 90th minute in Perth, Australia.
There were doubts over whether the goal would stand but VAR officials decided that Danish defender Rikke Sevecke had not interfered with China’s goalkeeper Xu Huan as the ball hit the back of the net.
The result moves Denmark to the top of Group D, level on points and goal difference with England, who secured a 1-0 win over Haiti earlier on Saturday.
Having missed the last three Women’s World Cup tournaments, Denmark were put on the back foot straight away and struggled to maintain possession as China piled on the pressure.
But the Steel Roses’ best chances were limited to long-range strikes by Chen Qiaozhu and Zhang Linyan, both of which failed to challenge Danish goalkeeper Lene Christensen.
Lars Sondergaard’s side settled into the game after 20 minutes, but neither team could find a golden opportunity before the break.
Wang Shuang, who was brought on for Zhang Xin after the break, forced the first save of the second-half as China started brightly.
But it was Denmark who were presented with a first clear-cut opportunity when Nicoline Sorensen’s cross into the box was deflected and found Josefine Hasbo with an open goal. However, she surprisingly headed over the crossbar.
Wang Shanshan nearly gifted Denmark with the opening goal as her clearance from a corner inched just wide of her own post.
The game became more end-to-end as the second half progressed and Denmark found the all-important winner as Harder’s out-swinging corner was met with a powerful header by Paris St-Germain forward Vangsgaard.
China pressed hard to find an equaliser in the final minutes with Wang Shuang’s free-kick into the box causing a scramble from the Danish defence as they cleared it from the goalline.
Some of the Chinese players protested that the ball had made it’s way over the line, but the assistant referee’s raised flag for offside quickly dampened any hopes of a late leveller.
source – BBC