Lauren James scores England wonder goal, penalty chaos in China vs Haiti

Lauren James celebrates scoring England's first goal against Denmark at the World Cup
Lauren James of England celebrates scoring the first goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup match vs Denmark (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

England edged their way to another 1-0 win in their latest World Cup clash against Denmark, thanks to a stunning goal from Lauren James. Argentina and South Africa held each other to a thrilling 2-2 draw and China snatched all three points from Haiti despite having a player sent off.

It was another day of high-end action down under, so let’s take a look at the three fixtures from Friday.

Argentina 2-2 South Africa

Embed from Getty Images

An opening goal for Linda Motlhalo gave South Africa the lead going into the break. Thembi Kgatlana bagged a second goal, however this was then quickly followed by two goals from Argentina to neutralise Banyana Banyana. The draw sees the two sides sitting bottom of Group, having taken just one point each from their opening two matches.

With almost 30 shots between the two sides, both teams will look to improve on their scoring accuracy. With Sweden and Italy due to play tomorrow, a draw in that game will see both South Africa and Argentina bow out of the competition. 

England 1-0 Denmark

Embed from Getty Images

Opening the scoring just six minutes into the match, England’s Lauren James put the Lionesses ahead in her first start at a major tournament. With England dominating the tie, Denmark struggled to find their rhythm in the match.

However, the victory was undoubtedly tainted by a seemingly serious injury to midfielder Keira Walsh. The 25-year-old appeared to injure her knee after her studs caught in the turf and required a period of treatment on the pitch before being stretchered off. Several players tweeted their support for Walsh including Arsenal duo Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead. Both players are absent from this summer’s tournament after suffering ACL injuries. 

Despite winning both of their opening games, England will need a victory over China to guarantee their progression to the knockout stage of the competition. The potential absence of Walsh will give Sarina Wiegman’s side plenty to consider. The No.4 is typically the player controlling the tempo and thythm of England’s game. 

Lars Søndergaard’s side however, will be relying on England taking all three points from China. Providing Pernille Harder with more goal-scoring opportunities will be a key focus for Denmark as they head into their final group stage game. 

China 1-0 Haiti

Embed from Getty Images

In the final game of matchday eight, China pulled off a slender victory over Haiti. A red card for Zhang Rui in the 29th minute saw the Steel Roses reduced to ten players. Despite the disadvantage, they would come away with a huge three points.

Wang Shuang stepped up and duly converted a penalty awarded to China in the 74th minute. The match became increasingly physical with Haiti believing they should have been awarded a spot kick late into injury time. 

With both sides needing a win from their final group game, there will be plenty for both managers to consider. Reducing the number of fouls conceded will be a key focus as the group stage draws to its conclusion.

MORE from Her Football Hub: