Spain won a game at the Women’s World Cup for the first time, defeating South Africa 3-1 on Saturday in Group B play in Le Havre, France, behind two penalty kicks by Jennifer Hermoso.
Spain, ranked No. 13 in the world, finished last in its group four years ago in Canada, the country’s only other appearance in the tournament.
South Africa, ranked 49th in the world and making its first World Cup appearance, took the early lead as Thembi Kgatlana dodged two defenders before putting her shot in the upper corner and out of goalkeeper Sandra Panos’ reach in the 25th minute.
Hermoso’s first penalty kick tied it in the 69th minute after South Africa captain Janine Van Wyk was called for a hand ball. Hermoso scored again in the 82nd minute, again beating goalkeeper Andile Dlamini. Lucia Garcia added the final goal for Spain in the 89th minute.
Germany 1, China 0: In Rennes, France, Giulia Gwinn scored in the second half as two-time champion Germany won its Group B opener. Gwinn’s 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, Germany defender Carolin Simon hit the crossbar with a shot and China striker Yang Li hit the post.
Norway 3, Nigeria 0: Guro Reiten and Lisa Marie Utland scored to help Norway win its Group A opener in Reims, France. Reiten’s deflected shot in the 17th minute gave Norway the lead, and Utland made it 2-0 in the 34th minute. An own goal made it 3-0 before the break.
Briefly: Marta, who has been FIFA’s player of the year six times, has been ruled out for Brazil’s opening match against Jamaica on Sunday in Grenoble, France, because of a left thigh injury. … Nigeria defender Faith Michael was stretchered off the field after suffering an apparent knee injury in a collision with her team’s goalkeeper early in the second half of the match with Norway.
Photo: Alex Grimm / Getty Images