Debutants South Africa are now likely out of contention after two defeats, but China face a do-or-die final pool match against Spain on Monday, when they will need victory to progress given their inferior goal difference. And they did by playing goaless with Spain
They might have put themselves in the driving seat had they taken a host of late chances, but as with their opening defeat by Germany, their finishing let them down.
Germany cannot finish outside the top two in the group, and a point in their final match against South Africa will see them avoid a likely second round match against holders the United States.
The result also means Group A leaders France are assured of at least a place among the best third-placed teams and seals their passage into the next stage.
China had the majority of possession in the first half as the South Africans battled to keep hold of the ball, their wayward passing inviting pressure from the Asian side.
South Africa improved after the break and finally managed a shot on target past the hour mark, but Kholosa Biyana’s long-range effort was easy for China goalkeeper Peng Shimeng to save. Monday game saw them losing to Germany 4-0, while Norway beat South Korea 2-1.
It’s all over in the other match between Norway and South Korea. Runners-up Norway are through to the last 16 with a 2-1 win.
Hosts France already narrowly escaped with a controversial 1-0 victory against Nigeria through VAR retake penalty. France’s Renard had missed the penalty – but VAR ordered retake and she scores at second attempt. Nigeria defender Ebere who committed the foul leading to the penalty sent off.
That 1-0 goal defeat was to Scotland’s chances of qualifying. They really need Nigeria to lose.And Nigeria lost.