Friday, July 19, 2024

Ten-player China beat Haiti to stay alive after wild World Cup clash

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Substitute Wang Shuang scored a 74th-minute penalty as China survived for more than an hour with 10 players to beat debutants Haiti 1-0 Friday and keep their Women’s World Cup dreams alive.

Needing to avoid defeat in Adelaide, China were the dominant team in damp conditions until Zhang Rui was sent off in the 29th minute for a clumsy tackle on Sherly Jeudy.  The Asian champions weathered an onslaught early in the second-half from Haiti before Zhang Linyan was brought down in the box by Ruthny Mathurin against the run of play. After a lengthy VAR review, Wang made no mistake with her penalty kick and China gamely held on in a wild contest involving several calls for penalties. Haiti were awarded a penalty in second-half stoppage time after Roseline Eloissaint had been seemingly grappled with by Chen Qiaozhu, but the referee rescinded it after a VAR check.

China are level with Denmark on three points in Group D, with England leading on six but their place in the last 16 still not assured.

All is still to play for heading into the last round of matches on Tuesday, when England play China and Haiti face Denmark.

Haiti coach Nicolas Delepine said he was “riled up” after the contentious ending, where Haiti had several other penalty shouts during the frenetic final minutes.

“We are quite disappointed, we are frustrated… it feels like it was snatched from us,” he said.

“When you lose you feel it is unjust, unfair, but let’s be clear: we lost because of poor a performance not because of VAR.”

China came into the game under pressure after losing to Denmark 1-0 and another defeat would have sent them home.

Haiti’s teenage attacking midfielder Melchie Dumornay, who mesmerised in the 1-0 loss to England, started on the bench because of a knock she received in that game.

China, who are ranked 14th and 39 spots higher than Haiti, dominated possession during the uninspiring early exchanges.

The first shot on goal came in the 16th minute when a cross from Li Mengwen found Lou Jiahui, who was unable to trouble Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Theus.

The contest flipped when Zhang’s studs thudded into the kneecap of Jeudy, who writhed on the ground in agony.

After a referee review, the initial yellow card was upgraded to red and Haiti promptly started to take control.

Haiti thought they had scored a first World Cup goal just before half-time when Nerilia Mondesir fired home from close range, only to be ruled offside.

Both teams made decisive substitutions to start the second-half with Dumornay and Wang sparking the dour contest.

Dumornay made an instant impact and almost broke the stalemate, but her shot from point-blank range was brilliantly blocked by goalkeeper Zhu Yu.

After China surprisingly took the lead, Haiti desperately sought an equaliser but it wasn’t forthcoming in a dramatic ending to a game that stretched well past 100 minutes.

 

 

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