England’s Walsh stretchered off in win; Argentina earn a point

Sports Desk, Jul 28 (EFE).- England’s 1-0 victory over Denmark to go 3 points clear atop Group D at the 2023 Women’s World Cup was marred by an injury to midfielder Keira Walsh, who left the field on a stretcher in the first half.

In other action, Argentina overcame a 2-0 deficit to draw with South Africa and pick up their first point of the tournament, while 10-woman China beat Haiti 1-0 to remain in contention for a spot in the knockout stage.

Lauren James scored in the 6th minute to give the Lionesses the early lead over Denmark at Allianz Stadium in Sydney and had a chance to double the advantage in the 20th, but fired the ball straight at goalkeeper Lene Christensen.

Walsh, who joined FC Barcelona last year from Manchester City for a record 400,000 pounds ($508,000), went down in the 36th minute without any contact and finally had to be carried off.

While England, who ended the game with 71 percent possession, continued to dominate, only the post stopped Denmark sub Amalie Vangsgaard from equalizing in the 87th minute.

The reigning European champions improve to 6 points, 3 better than Denmark and China, and need only a draw against the Chinese in the final group stage match to reach the round of 16. The Danes will face already eliminated Haiti in their final group game.

“Of course I’m concerned because she could not walk off the pitch,” England coach Sarina Wiegman said after the contest regarding the injury to James. “But we don’t know yet, so we can’t make any assumptions. Let’s just really wait until we have a diagnosis.”

The Lionesses came into the tournament missing captain Leah Williamson and Euro 2022 Golden Boot winner Beth Mead due to knee injuries.

Argentina and South Africa, two teams still looking for their first-ever victory in the Women’s World Cup, treated fans at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand, to perhaps the most exciting game so far of this year’s tournament.

The Albiceleste started aggressively, but couldn’t solve South African goalkeeper Kaylin Swart, and it was the Banyana Banyana who struck first courtesy of Linda Motlhalo in the 30th minute.

Mariana Larroquette’s potential equalizer bounced off the cross-bar in the 38th minute.

Thembi Kgatlana transformed a defensive giveaway into a second goal for South Africa in the 66th minute, yet Argentina battled on and Sophia Braun narrowed the gap in the 74th minute with a blast from the edge of the 18-yard box.

Five minutes later, Romina Nuñez headed a cross into the bottom corner to bring the Albiceleste level and the sides shared the points.

Despite having just a point apiece, South Africa and Argentina remain alive in Group G, where current co-leaders Sweden and Italy (each on 3 points) are set to clash Saturday.

At Hindmarsh Stadium in suburban Adelaide, China overcame being reduced to 10 women in the first half to slip past Haiti 1-0.

The referee initially showed a yellow card when Zhang Rui clipped Sherly Jeudy on the shin with her studs up, but changed it to red after a VAR review.

Haiti captain Nerilia Mondesir had a goal disallowed for offside in the 42nd minute, while China goalkeeper Zhu Yu made a tremendous stop to deny Melchie Dumornay in the 53rd.

Zhang Linyan was brought down in the box on a rare Chinese attack in the 73rd minute and a VAR review resulted in a penalty, converted by Wang Shuang to give the Asian squad the lead.

VAR intervened again in the 93rd minute to overturn a penalty awarded to Haiti.

EFE lgv/dr

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