Germany won its Women's World Cup group for the fifth consecutive time while Spain, ending as runner up, advanced to the knockout stage for the first time in its history.

By Associated Press
June 17, 2019

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) Germany won its Women's World Cup group for the fifth consecutive time and avoided an immediate matchup with the United States by routing South Africa 4-0 on Monday.

Germany topped Group B with a 3-0 record and will play a third place team in its round of 16 match Saturday at Grenoble.

Germany had to grind out 1-0 wins over both China and Spain, but its offense finally broke out with three goals in the first half against South Africa. That matched its total goals in its previous five World Cup games.

Germany had already clinched a spot in the round of 16 before the game began against South Africa.

South Africa was winless in group play and outscored 8-1. At 49th, South Africa had the lowest ranking of the 24 teams in the tournament.

Spain finished Group B as runner-up after a 0-0 draw with China, and advanced to the knockout stage for the first time. Spain will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims and the United States would be the opponent with a victory or draw in its final group match against Sweden.

Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute with her first goal for Germany since the 2016 Olympics. Sara Dabritz doubled the lead in the 29th minute and Alexandra Popp made it 3-0 in the 40th. Lina Magull added the final goal in the 58th.

Two-time tournament champion Germany has not lost a match in group play since falling to Sweden in 1995.

Spain 0 China 0

Spain and China played to a scoreless draw Monday that advanced both squads to the round of 16 at the Women's World Cup.

Spain finished second in Group B behind Germany. Spain advanced to the knockout stage for the first time and will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims - likely the United States if the Americans win or draw in its final group match against Sweden.

China has advanced to the knockout stage at each of its seven World Cup appearances. It finished third in the group at 1-1-1.

Spain also finished 1-1-1.

La Roja's best chance came in the 39th minute but Peng Shimeng stopped Jennifer Hermoso's header off a cross from Virginia Torrecilla. China's goalkeeper also fended off Alexia Putellas' free kick in the 71st.

Peng got her fingertips on another shot from Hermoso in the 86th minute to deflect the ball over the net as Spain appeared to apply pressure in the waning minutes.

 

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