England beat China, U.S. move on at WC with draw

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European champion England knocked China out of the FIFA Women's World Cup with a 6-1 victory on Tuesday, as title holder United States squeezed into the round of 16 after an unconvincing goalless draw against Portugal, reported Xinhua.

A spectacular England secured top position in Group D after clinching their third straight win, while Denmark overcame Haiti 2-0 in Perth to also reach the knockout stage.

It was a much improved effort from an aggressive England, who had labored in tough wins over Haiti and Denmark, and they started fast in Adelaide with a goal from Alessia Russo in the fourth minute.

Goals from Lauren Hemp and Lauren James gave England an almost unassailable lead at half-time.

But England conceded their first goal of the tournament when Wang Shuang scored a penalty in the 57th minute.

The Lionesses, however, hit back through a sensational volley from James in the 65th minute.

Goals to Chloe Kelly and Rachel Daly completed England's rout and set up a round of 16 clash with Nigeria.

Asian champion China, who finished with three points from their win over Haiti, was eliminated for the first time at the group stage in its eighth World Cup appearance.

It was a disappointing exit for China, the 1999 runner-up, who suffered their heaviest defeat in their proud World Cup history.

Star striker Pernille Harder and substitute Sanne Troelsgaard both scored against Haiti to ensure Denmark locked up second position in Group D with six points.

They will next face co-host Australia in the round of 16.

Earlier, four-time champion U.S. survived a major scare against Portugal in Auckland.

The Americans were almost sensationally eliminated when Portugal's Ana Capeta hit the left post in stoppage time as the U.S. hung on to scrape into the round of 16 after finishing second in Group E with five points.

Entering the tournaments as favourite, two-time defending champion U.S. has been unconvincing so far but the result was enough to see them edge past debutant Portugal, who had four points.

"We should have put some in the back of the net and we didn't. We own that," U.S. co-captain Alex Morgan said.

"We're not happy with the performance we put out there. But at the same time, we're moving on."

The Netherlands finished on top of Group E after producing the tournament's biggest victory with a 7-0 destruction of debutant Vietnam in Dunedin.

The 2019 World Cup runner-up was in commanding form with Esmee Brugts and Jill Roord both scoring twice.

Lieke Martens, Katja Snoeijs and Danielle van de Donk also added goals as the Netherlands strengthened their title credentials.

"From the beginning of our preparations we were quite convinced we can beat every opponent in this tournament," said Netherlands coach Andries Jonker.

"Of course it helps if you qualify first when the United States is in your group, you win 7-0 and you make wonderful goals."

"I think we can rightfully state that we will be able to win against anybody, but we have to make it happen."

There are four matches on Wednesday with title contenders Sweden, France and Brazil among the teams in action.

  •  Women’s WC

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

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