China’s Women’s World Cup campaign was kept alive by Wang Shuang’s penalty kick conversion in Friday’s 1-0 win against Haiti at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide. The Asian side showed remarkable courage to secure victory despite being down a player, and Wang Shuang’s goal was the difference in the match.
On Tuesday, the Steel Roses take on England, who currently sit third in Group D with three points after two games. After suffering two losses, Haiti now has 0 points, but they still have a chance to advance if they are victorious against Denmark on the same day and other outcomes go in their favor.
From the moment the ball was kicked off, China had a commanding advantage in possession. In the 16th minute, China came close to taking the lead in dramatic way when Lou Jiahui managed to direct an acrobatic attempt towards goal, but Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Theus was able to easily save the shot since it was weak.
The tide swiftly turned, however, when Zhang Rui was awarded a straight red card in the 29th minute for a dangerous “studs up” challenge on Sherly Jeudy. This was the play that caused the momentum change.
The Caribbean team made the most of their lead, even though they had a goal disallowed for offside just before the halftime whistle, but China defended hard to protect themselves from onslaught after onslaught of assaults.
Melchie Dumornay, who came in as a substitution for Haiti, took a shot with his weaker foot early in the second half, which forced Zhu Yu to make an outstanding save. However, it was China that ultimately broke the tie when Zhang Linyan was carelessly pulled down by Ruthny Mathurin.
In the 74th minute, Wang, who had come in as a substitute but had been named the 2018 Asian Women’s Footballer of the Year, took the subsequent penalty kick and scored to give her team the lead.
Haiti exerted significant effort in quest of an equalizer and had two claims for penalties turned down in the frenetic final stages, but China was able to hold on for the win.