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8 Jun 2019

FIFA Women's World Cup: South Africa Score First Ever Goal But Still Lose To Spain

Jennifer Hermoso struck two second-half penalties and the substitute Lucía García added a last-minute goal as Spain came from behind to beat South Africa.

Hermoso tucked away spot-kicks in the 70th and 83rd minutes to give Spain a winning start to their Group B campaign after South Africa, in their first appearance at the finals, took a surprise first-half lead.
The first penalty came after a handball by the South Africa captain, Janine van Wyk, and the second after a follow-through tackle by the full-back Nothando Vilakazi on García, which earned Vilakazi a second yellow card (left).

South Africa had looked on track for a shock win after Thembi Kgatlana struck a powerful shot from the corner of the area over the head of the Spain goalkeeper, Sandra Paños, in the 25th minute. The goal came after the South Africans had weathered Spain’s early dominance with desperate defending, and then began to look threatening on the counterattack.

Kgatlana, the African Women’s Footballer of the Year, could have made it 2-0 but fluffed a tap-in chance at the back post in the 57th minute, not long after Hermoso had come close to an equaliser by striking the bar.

Spain’s superior fitness allowed them to dominate the last half hour, though, and they had further chances late on to add to their tally.

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