Germany is finding it far from easy going at this Women’s World Cup.
Against a skillful Spain team, the two-time world champions relied on Sara Dabritz’s goal in the 42nd minute for a 1-0 win Wednesday at Valenciennes, France.
It was second-ranked Germany’s second successive 1-0 victory in Group B. It earned 3 points for an opening-round 1-0 win over China.
The Germans, who have always reached at least the quarterfinals at this tournament, had to overcome slack defense before taking the lead.
Spain’s lack of production spared Germany an upset against the 13th-ranked team that is playing in only its second World Cup.
When a high ball was sent to Spain’s Nahikari Garcia in the 14th minute, the forward broke through the center backs. But with only goalkeeper Almuth Schult to beat, Garcia chipped wide.
Germany took the lead against the run of play. Sandra Paños had just saved Alexandra Popp’s header, but she couldn’t keep hold of it, and Dabritz pounced to bundle the loose ball into the net.
France 2, Norway 1 — France recovered from a terrible own goal to beat Norway as the host nation remained undefeated at the Women’s World Cup at Nice.
Eugenie Le Sommer scored the winner from the penalty spot in the 72nd minute after video review determined Ingrid Syrstad Engen had fouled Marion Torrent in the area.
Valerie Gauvin, benched in France’s opening 4-0 win over South Korea, broke the deadlock after halftime but Norway tied when Wendie Renard turned a cross into her own net.
Renard, considered one of the best defenders in the world, appeared to be in tears as she raised her face to the sky in anguish.
France moved 3 points ahead of Norway in Group A. Nigeria was also 3 points behind France, which is vying to become the first nation to hold both the men’s and women’s World Cup titles at the same time.
Norway, which won the competition in 1995, is playing without Ada Hegerberg. The 2018 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner stepped down from the national team because of what she says are differences in the way the federation treats the men’s and women’s teams.
Nigeria 2, South Korea 0 — Asisat Oshoala became the second Nigerian player to score in two different Women’s World Cups with a late goal at Grenoble, France.
Chidinma Okeke chipped the ball past the South Korean defense in the 75th minute and Oshoala chased it down, slipped past Hwang Bo-ram, and drew the keeper off her line before sliding it into an open goal from a tight angle.
Nigeria took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute at Stade des Alpes when South Korea’s Kim Do-yeon volleyed the ball into her own net.
Nigeria is the first team to both score and concede an own-goal at the same Women’s World Cup since the US in 1999. Osinachi Ohale scored on her own team in Nigeria’s opening Group A loss to Norway.
Oshoala, who plays for Barcelona, joined Rita Nwadike as Nigerians to score in multiple Women’s World Cups.