Spain won a game at the Women's World Cup for the first time, beating South Africa 3-1 yesterday aided by two penalties from Jennifer Hermoso.

Spain, ranked No 13 in the world, finished last in their group four years ago in Canada, the country's only other appearance in the tournament.

Thembi Kgatlana scored in the 25th minute, dodging two defenders before putting her shot in the top corner, out of the reach of Spanish keeper Sandra Panos. South Africa, ranked 49th, were making their first World Cup appearance.

Hermoso's first penalty levelled the match in the 69th minute after South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk was called for a hand ball. She made her second in the 82nd minute, again beating keeper Andile Dlamini. Lucia Garcia added the final goal for Spain in the 89th minute.


It was the second Group B match of the day. Earlier, Giulia Gwinn scored a second-half winner as two-time champions Germany opened their campaign by beating China 1-0.

Gwinn's powerful 66th-minute shot from the edge of the penalty area flew into the left corner. The ball fell to her after Chinese defenders failed to properly clear a corner floated in from the right.

In an even first half at Roazhon Park, in the Brittany city of Rennes, Germany defender Carolin Simon hit the crossbar and China striker Yang Li hit the post. China failed to take advantage of pressure they created in the second half.

Germany won their last title in 2007 and next face Spain in Group B on Thursday, while China, runners-up to the United States in 1999, play South Africa on Friday.

In yesterday's third game, Guro Reiten and Lisa Marie Utland scored to help Norway open the tournament with a 3-0 victory over Nigeria.

The 1995 winners played without Ada Hegerberg, the 2018 Fifa Ballon d'Or winner who stepped down from the national team because of what she says are differences in the way the Norwegian federation treats the men's and women's teams.

Reiten's deflected shot in the 17th minute gave Norway the lead, and Utland scored in the 34th minute. An own goal made it 3-0 and wrapped up scoring before the break.

Nigeria were hurt when defender Faith Michael was stretchered off after a collision with her keeper early in the second half.


New Zealand start their tournament with a match against the Netherlands on Wednesday at 1am.

- AP