Monday 17 June 2019, 20:14

France, Germany on top as Spain and China squeeze through

  • Germany win again; draw enough for Spain and China PR

  • Renard penalty sinks Nigeria, while Norway secure second

  • Reaction and more: #CHNESP, #RSAGER, #NGAFRA & #KORNOR Live Blogs

The last-16 picture continues to take shape at France 2019, with China PR, Spain and Norway the latest teams to confirm their spots in the knockout phase.

The final rankings in Groups A and B were also decided on an action-packed day of matches, with Germany thumping South Africa and France edging out Nigeria to stay in position at the summits of their respective sections.

The South African debutantes now join Korea Republic in heading for home, while Nigeria must wait to discover if they have done enough to finish as one of four best third-placed teams.

China PR 0-0 Spain

Team Reporter analysis

Qian Sun (CHN) The Steel Roses' focus on defence enabled them to resist some fierce Spanish attacking. But their lack of bite at the other end of the field remains a worry, with PSG star Wang Shuang still to show her best form. Goalkeeper Peng Shimeng, on the other hand, was outstanding, with her positioning, decision-making and reflexes vital to China coming away with a point.

Elisa Revuelta (ESP) Spain have made history by qualifying for the knockout stage for the first time. But there was frustration at the way they did it. It was shown again that this team struggles against strong and well organised defences, and goals remain elusive. It's now 181 minutes and counting since they last found the net. Only solving that problem will allow them to advance further.

South Africa 0-4 Germany

Busisiwe Mokwena (RSA) After starting fairly well, South Africa were rattled by conceding two very poor goals and spent the rest of the first half in defensive mode. They also struggled throughout to deal with Germany's set pieces. While the second half performance was much improved, Banyana Banyana lacked a finishing touch in front of goal.

Steffen Potter (GER) Germany achieved their goal of winning the group and doing so in style, and registered a third clean sheet in the process. It was also very important that captain Alexandra Popp got her name on the scoresheet, as this should boost her confidence. This German team can now go into the knockout phase with real confidence.

Nigeria 0-1 France

Ann Odong (NGA) Nigeria produced one of their best defensive performances in recent years against a strong France side. The Super Falcons were tactically disciplined throughout and, while disappointed by the outcome, they will be proud at how they executed their game plan. Now the wait is on to see if they progress to the knockout phase for the first time in 20 years​

Emmanuelle Hingant (FRA) France needed another VAR penalty to get the better of Nigeria. The team's first objective was three wins out of three in the group phase and, in that respect, it's mission accomplished. But although they dominated possession, I'm not sure Corinne Diacre will be overly pleased with the performance. Better will be needed in the round of 16.

Korea Republic 1-2 Norway

Hounche Chung (KOR) It has been a disappointing campaign for Korea Republic, who failed to reach the second round after losing all of their three matches. But if their determined performance against Norway tonight is anything to go by, the Taegeuk Nangja have the potential to improve and come back stronger next time.

Philip O'Connor (NOR) Norway were not at their best tonight but they did enough to get the win that takes them through, and that was all that mattered. They were also forced to work hard without the ball and that experience will stand them in good stead for the knockout stage. ​

Next up

18 June

Italy-Brazil: Group C, Valenciennes, 21:00 Jamaica-Australia: Group C, Grenoble, 21:00

Follow the FIFA Women’s World Cup™

On Twitter | Facebook | Instagram