World Cup Match Report: China vs South Africa

Date: Thursday 13th June

Venue: Parc de Princes, Paris

China and South Africa are both seeking to get their World Cup mission back on track after defeats in their opening group games. China welcomed PSG forward and star player Wang Shuang who surprisingly did not start against Germany. China’s number seven is nicknamed ‘Lady Messi’ and hoped to inspire her side and live up to her hype. 

China began strongly and set up camp in the South Africa half. Gu Yasha had plenty of the ball down China’s left-hand side but the best she could muster were a few crosses that were easily dealt with by Kaylin Swart.

After about thirty minutes South Africa ventured forward with a purpose for the first time in the game, Thembi Kgatlana flew passed the China defence but putting herself through on goal but instead of taking it on her left, she takes a shot using the outside of her right foot and the ball doesn’t go anywhere near the China goal.

Li Ying breaks the deadlock and earns China a deserved lead. Zhang Rui put a ball into the box like every good forward, and with an outstretched left leg, she guides it past Kaylin Swart.

Thembi Kgatlana’s pace was always a danger but too often she ran into blind alleys or had no support for her teammates. 

For the majority of the second half both sides cancelled each other out. Both had positive intentions but lacked the quality to get the game’s second next goal. There was a late charge but China but Swart was again equal to it. 

The much-deserved win sends China level on points with Spain. The pair meet in the final group game in what will be a winner takes all game. Desiree Ellisside played with heart but they just didn’t have the quality needed to overcome a side with more experience and much bigger resources than her own side.

South Africa: Swart, Holweni, Matlou, van Wyk, Ramalepe, Mbane, Jane, Biyan, Makhabane, Kgatlana, Fulutudilu

China: Peng, Y Wang, Lin, Han, Wu, Liu, Gu, Zhang, Shu Wang, Sha Wang, Li

Stuart Barker
hellosince71@gmail.com