China beats South Africa 1-0 to set up decider vs. Spain

South Africa coach Desiree Ellis, right, and China head coach Jia Xiuquan, background, follow the action during the Women's World Cup Group B soccer match between China and South Africa at Parc des Princes in Paris, France, Thursday, June 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

China got its Women's World Cup back on track with a scrappy 1-0 win against a resilient South Africa on Thursday

PARIS — China is back on track at the Women's World Cup after a 1-0 win against South Africa on Thursday.

China evened itself with Spain for second place in Group B with three points, and now focuses on its next match and the push to join group leader Germany in the last 16.

Forward Li Ying put 1999 runner-up China ahead in the 40th minute with an opportunist effort. Meeting Zhang Rui's right-wing cross, she got ahead of her marker and poked the ball into the bottom right corner.

China lost 1-0 to two-time champion Germany in its opening match. South Africa was beaten 3-1 by Spain and now has two losses.

Forward Thembi Kgatlana scored against Spain and was South Africa's most dangerous player against China, with a chance to equalize in the 76th.

Pouncing on a loose ball inside the left of the penalty area, her shot hit defender Lin Yuping near her right shoulder. There were calls for a penalty but no video review was done.

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