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China PR v Spain Live Commentary, 17/06/2019

FT
0 - 0
CHN
ESP
Stade Océane

Commentary

That will do it for our live coverage of this Women's World Cup match between China and Spain! We hope you enjoyed following along, and will join us again soon!
As for what's next for these sides, Spain will face the winners of group F who will be either the United States or Sweden, while China will have to wait to find out their opponent, but it will likely be the winner of Group D.
This match was not the best we will see at this tournament but, with the draw, both sides have advanced to the round of 16. That wasn't due to any lack of trying from Spain who ended the match with 23 shots, nine on target, yet they continue to struggle when it comes to putting their chances in the back of the net. Hermoso continues to dazzle for the Spaniards but will need to find her scoring boots if they are to make it past the next round. China, on the other hand, didn't even bother trying to play in attack, opting to rather just set up shop at the back and hold onto a precious point. This strategy could have gone quite wrong had it not been for some dramatic saves by Peng, but it ends up being enough on the day.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: China 0-0 Spain
90' + 3' Wang Yan commits a foul with just a minute left, and Spain will have one last chance to score from the ensuing free-kick.
90' + 1' Play continues with Peng still in net for China.
90' There will be four minutes of added time.
89' Peng collides with the post as she tried to parry a corner away, and is now down on the pitch.
88' After Hermoso's last shot on target, Spain are up to nine on the day while China have yet to record even one.
Yao Wei
Gu Yasha
China PR
87' China make a substitution in the final minutes as Gu is replaced by Yao.
Celia Jiménez
Lucía García
Spain
86' Lucia Garcia goes off as Jimenez comes on for Spain.
85' Hermoso tries to chip Peng at the near post only to be denied yet again by the Chinese 'keeper.
84' SAVE! A furious strike from distance by Guijarro seemed destined for the bottom-left corner of the goal, but Peng rose to the challenge once more and parried it away!
82' Spain continue to play as a Chinese forward is down on the ground at the other end of the pitch.
80' Just 10 minutes left now! Can either side break the deadlock?
79' Wu does well to cut out a pass down the left flank that was intended for Falcon. Spain will have a throw.
77' Another lofted through-ball is played forward by China, this one is less successful though as it runs away from Wang Yan and out for a goal-kick.
76' Garcia dribbles her way into the box and seems to be looking for contact, but she is not obliged by the Chinese defenders and passes it back out of the penalty area.
74' Falcon pushes Han into Peng as they all rose for a lofted ball, and the Spaniard is called for the foul.
71' Putellas tries a left-footed shot from outside the box that is launched straight into the chest of Peng.
70' Panos goes on walkabout and China had a brief chance to take advantage, but it passes without so much as a shot.
69' A long-ball is launched forward for Gu to chase. She catches up to it and whips in a cross to Yang Li who can't control it and Panos covers. China aren't attacking frequently, but they do look dangerous on the counter.
Alexia Putellas
Nahikari García
Spain
67' Garcia is replaced by Putellas, which will likely cause a formation shift that will see Hermoso operate as a lone striker.
66' A Hermoso corner is headed off target by Paredes and China will have a goal-kick.
Li Wen
Yellow Card
China PR
63' Li Wen, who has not been on the pitch long, is shown a yellow card for a foul on Garcia.
62' Germany have scored yet again, pushing their lead to four over South Africa.
61' SAVE! Guijarro takes a right-footed shot from outside the box that forces an athletic, diving save from Peng!
60' Some nice interplay by China is for nought as the flag goes up on Gu.
58' Falcon takes on two Chinese defenders and does well to hook her foot around the ball and play it off them for another corner.
57' After some deflections in the box, the ball fell to Garcia who launched a shot towards goal, but it was blocked behind by Han.
Li Wen
Wang Shuang
China PR
56' Another change from China as Wang Shuang is withdrawn in favour of Li Wen.
54' Han fouls Falcon in the defensive half, and it will be a free-kick to Spain.
52' CHANCE! Hermoso starts a counter-attack with a lovely backheel that leads to a breakaway by Garcia who dribbled into the box and was then caught between two minds, and failed to either score or find a teammate at the back post.
50' Spain win the first corner of the match, after neither side managed one in the first half.
47' Leila jogs to the side of pitch after taking a ball to the face, as blood trickles from her nose. She should be able to continue though.
46' The referee's whistle sounds once more, and this match is back underway!
Yang Li
Wang Shanshan
China PR
46' China make a substitution at the break as well with Wang Shanshan replaced by Yang Li
Andrea Falcón
Mariona Caldentey
Spain
46' Spain make a change at the half as Mariona is replaced by Falcon on the left.
It will be interesting to see how these sides approach the second half. Spain have been the dominant force thus far, and a draw would be enough for them to go through, but surely they would like to score from open play which is something they've managed to do just once at this tournament. Could they bring on another attacking player to try and punch through the Chinese defence? China, on the other hand, have been content to just sit back but will likely look to add a midfielder soon in order to gain some semblance of control in the midfield.
We were hoping for this match to be a bit more exciting considering the stakes but, instead, both sides are reverting to type. China have stood strong in defence while creating precious few chances, while Spain are creating plenty of chances but can't finish them. The latter have looked the more threatening side with the best chances of the match coming via Garcia and Hermoso though, as has been the story of late, neither could make their opportunities count. China, on the other hand, finally started to look dangerous in the final minutes of the first half, and will be hoping to carry that momentum into the second. As things stand in Group B, Germany would finish atop the group, Spain would go through in second, and China would advane as one of the best third-place teams.
45' + 2' HALF-TIME: China 0-0 Spain
45' There will be just one minute of added time.
45' China finally get forward and have two crosses into Li Ying, who couldn't win either header, and the chances go. That was far better from the Steel Roses though!
43' Spain have a free-kick in China's half. There have been 22 goals from set-pieces at this tournament thus far. Can the Spaniards make it 23?
41' Germany score another goal, this one via Popp, and they've taken a 3-0 lead over South Africa. Barring a crazy turnaround, the Germans will advance as the Group B winners.
39' CHANCE! Torrecilla sends a cross into Hermoso who flicks a header towards the bottom-right corner of goal, only to be stopped by the gloves of Peng!
38' Hermoso draws the attention of three defenders near the left corner flag, and manages to knock ball off of one of them and it will be a throw for Spain.
36' Li Ying works her way up the right wing and sends in an early cross that was easily plucked from the air by Panos.
35' China have definitely been losing in the midfield with just 37.8 per cent of possession to their name thus far.
33' Mariana drifts in from the left channel and unleashes a shot from distance that was always tailing left.
32' Elsewhere, Germany have scored again, taking a 2-0 lead over South Africa.
30' Hermoso plays a fantastic reverse ball to Garcia who slides in an attempt to get the ball on target, which she does, only to see it roll harmlessly into the arms of Peng.
28' Wang Shanshan limps off the pitch with the help of the trainers. It's unclear if she will be able to continue, but play continues in the interim.
27' Play is halted as Wang Shanshan lays on the pitch, clutching her leg.
26' Leila sends in a fantastic low cross that eventually winds up at the feet of Hermoso, who has her shot blocked before it could trouble Peng.
25' Coming into today's match, China had committed the most fouls at this tournament (31) and four of their players have already picked up yellow cards in the group stage.
23' Wang Shanshan goes in with a heavy challenge on Guijarro and a free-kick is awarded to Spain. The former will need to be careful though, as another yellow card would see her miss China's next match.
22' After an excellent press from Spain, China are forced to play the ball back to the goalkeeper who hits it out of play for a Spanish throw.
20' Hermoso pulls back Zhang in the midfield, and the former is called for the foul.
18' Mariona tries a reverse ball into the box that's cut out by Wu. Good idea from the Spaniard that just didn't come off.
16' Germany have scored against South Africa and now lead 1-0! If scores stay the same, Germany will finish atop Group B with both China and Spain fighting for second, while the potential loser could still sneak through as a third-place team.
14' Garcia commits a foul on Lin Yuping, and it will be a free-kick to China.
12' Just a reminder that the South Africa v Germany match will have a massive impact on how the Group B table finishes, so we will update you with any changes to the scoreline of that game.
10' CHANCE! Another missed opportunity for Spain as Hermoso cuts into the box and unleashes a strike aimed at the near post... that hits Garcia and rolls out for a goal-kick! How unlucky is that?!
8' CHANCE! Hermoso pulled off some skills on the left and laid it off to Mariona who whipped in a great ball that Garcia just couldn't get her foot on! Any contact and that surely would have been a goal!
7' Mild penalty shout from Gu who goes down on the edge of the box, but the referee is unmoved.
5' Gu is called for a handball as she tried to control a lofted ball in the attacking third.
3' CHANCE! Garcia gets played in behind the defence and dribbles past the goalkeeper, but drifts too wide and never manages to get a shot off! Good recovery by the Chinese back line.
2' For those interested, China are wearing all red, while Spain don an all-white strip.
1' Referee Edina Alves Batista blows the whistle, and this match is underway!
The teams are lined up on the pitch as the national anthems ring around the Stade Oceane. Not long to go now!
Three changes for Spain after their 1-0 defeat to Germany in their last match. Leila, Garcia, and Guijarro come into the starting XI while Torrejon, Putellas, and Meseguer drop to the bench. The key player for Spain is obviously Hermoso who, after her brace against South Africa, is already her country’s all-time leading scorer at the Women’s World Cup. She played well behind Garcia against Germany but, with goals an absolute must today, Hermoso returns to the front line of attack. If she can finishes her chances, Spain will more than likely win, and advance today.
Spain substitutes: Amanda Sampedro, Vicky Losada, Andrea Pereira, Alexia Putellas, Lola Gallardo, Ivana, Aitana Bonmati, Marta Torrejon, Silvia Meseguer, Andrea Falcon, Celia Jimenez, Mariasun Quinones.
Spain (4-4-2): Sandra Panos; Marta Corredera, Irene Paredes, Mapi Leon, Leila; Lucia Garcia, Patri Guijarro, Virginia Torrecilla, Mariona; Jenni Hermoso, Nahikari Garcia.
No changes from coach Xiuquan Jia after his side’s 1-0 win against South Africa last time out. China have not won consecutive matches at this tournament since 1999 but, they could break that trend if Li has a big game today. The striker scored their only goal at this year’s tournament thus far, and also led the Steel Roses in goals at the AFC Women’s Cup with seven. At the other end of the pitch, expect a resolute performance in defence from China, who have conceded just one goal at this tournament thus far.
China substitutes: Liu Yanqiu, Song Duan, Yao Wei, Luo Guiping, Yang Li, Lou Jiahui, Wang Ying, Tan Ruyin, Xu Huan, Li Wen, Li Jiayue, Bi Xiaolin.
Now, let's take a look at the team news!
Spain will be confident heading into today’s match considering they have beaten China in their two prior meetings (3-1, 2-1).
China will obviously be hoping for a win today, as it would ensure that they would advance past the group stage for the eighth time out of eight attempts at the Women’s World Cup.
China (4-4-2): Peng Shimeng; Han Peng, Wu Haiyan, Lin Yuping, Liu Shanshan; Wang Shuang, Zhang Rui, Wang Yan, Gu Yasha; Wang Shanshan, Li Ying.
We should be in for a riveting match today as both of these sides come into this match level in Group B with three points. As things stand, a win from either nation would guarantee them a spot in the round of 16 while a draw would push Spain through on goal difference.
Hello, and welcome to our live coverage of this Women’s World Cup match between China and Spain!