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Germany set off in pursuit of winning a third World Cup with a hard fought 1-0 victory over China in Rennes.
The Germans were frustrated for long parts of the match and were on the receiving end of some robust challenges, coming closest through an Alexandra Popp header and when Carolin Simon hit the bar.
China grew in confidence as the game wore on and nearly took the lead themselves when Yang Li struck the post but at the midpoint of the second half, Germany did go in front when a corner was cleared as far as Giulia Gwinn who marked her first competitive start for her country by firing the loose ball home from the edge of the area.
There were no real scares for the Germans at that point and, although not at their best, had done enough to come away with the three points.
Spain sit on top of Group B after a dramatic last twenty minutes saw them come from behind to beat South Africa 3-1.
For a long time though, it looked as though it was going to be the same old story as Spain dominated possession and territory but lacking a cutting edge in front of goal and they were made to pay by being hit on the counter attack on 25 minutes. Thembi Kgatlana curled home a delightful shot from the edge of the area to put South Africa in front with their first attempt on goal.
Kgatlana passed up a great chance to double her side's lead but her shot lacked power and Sandra Panos was able to save. This proved to be something of a pivotal point in the game as Spain became more threatening after the break and they were given a great chance to equalise when Janine van Wyk was penalised for handball from Marta Corredera's cross. Jennifer Hermoso stepped up to coolly steer the ball past Andile Dlamini from the spot.
With seven minutes remaining, VAR intervened to award Spain another penalty as Nothando Vilakazi's challenge on Lucia Garcia was adjudged to have been reckless. The defender also received a second yellow card and Hermoso duly converted from the spot once again to turn the match on its head.
The game was put beyond any further doubt as a long ball forward was chased down by Garcia, who touched it past the oncoming Dlamini and ran it into the empty net.
Norway meanwhile eased to a convincing 3-0 victory against Nigeria in Reims. Determined to banish memories of their disastrous campaign in the Euros two years ago, they opened the scoring on 17 minutes via a deflected effort from Chelsea-bound striker Guro Reiten.
Another seventeen minutes elapsed before Norway doubled their lead with a strike from Lisa-Marie Utland which was too powerful for Nigerian keeper Tochukwu Oluehi and the third came shortly afterwards, Isabell Herlovsen's cross was turned into her own net by Osinachi Ohale.
With star winger Caroline Hansen in good form, Norway continued to control the game but were unable to add to their lead after the break.
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