Substitute Amalie Vangsgaard headed home a last-minute goal to give Denmark a winning start to their first Women’s World Cup campaign since 2007 with a 1-0 victory against China at Perth Rectangular Stadium on Saturday.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward, who had been brought on five minutes earlier, found the back of the net with a long-range header from a Pernille Harder corner to break the deadlock in the 89th minute.
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Harder, playing her first World Cup, was a prominent forward presence for the Danes, who controlled possession but found it difficult to carve out clear chances.
The first genuine scoring opportunity from either side in a scrappy contest came in the 52nd minute when Denmark’s Josefine Hasbo failed to keep a header down in front of an open goal, giving China an almighty reprieve.
The reigning Asian champions played with a greater sense of urgency after bringing forward Wang Shuang on but came close to conceding an own goal in the 76th minute when a clearing header from skipper Wang Shanshan whistled past the post.
England, who earlier beat Haiti 1-0 in Brisbane, are now joined by the Danes at the top of Group D. Denmark’s next match comes against the European champions in Sydney on Friday after China face off with Haiti in Adelaide.
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