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Pair of penalties give Spain comeback win over South Africa after Kgatlana cracker

Jennifer Hermosa struck twice from the spot to deliver the win for Spain.

Hermosa connects with a volley in Le Havre.
Hermosa connects with a volley in Le Havre.
Image: Richard Sellers

Spain 3 – 1 South Africa 

SHOCK AVERTED, BUT not without a touch of controversy.

Spain bounced back from conceding a cracking opener from Thembi Kgatlana thanks to two penalties from Jennifer Hermosa to top Women’s World Cup Group B ahead of Germany.

Underdogs South Africa ultimately ran out of steam after two Var-assisted penalties and a red card for Nothando Viakazi.

However, they gave Spain a fright along the way and gave themselves a chance of an upset through Kgatlana’s excellent 25th-minute curled effort, which found its way over Sandra Panos and into the top corner.

The Banyana Banyana had to ride their luck somewhat thereafter, with Spain mounting pressure and going close either side of the break only for Andile Diamini to stand firm.

Their luck ran out, however, when Hermosa’s attempted cross hit the arm of Janine van Wyk from point-blank range on 70 minutes. Hermosa took the ball and converted the equaliser herself from the penalty spot.

Five minutes later, Spain thought they had completed the turnaround as Virginia Torrecilla thumped a header beyond Diamini. The offside flag came to South Africa’s rescue, but they weren’t thanking the officials for long.

As another Hermosa cross was scrambled clear, Var was called on and proved decisive for Spain as it ruled Vilakazi had fouled Lucia Garcia.

Spain v South Africa - FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 - Group B - Stade Oceane Lucia Garcia celebrates Spain's third. Source: Richard Sellers

Penalty given, Vilakazi issued a second yellow and a red, all that was left was the finish from Hermosa and she made no mistake when offered a second chance from 12 yards.

South Africa’s promising start was fully swept away in the final minutes as Lucia Garcia grabbed Spain’s third by rounding the on-rushing Diamini and finishing into the empty net.

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Sean Farrell

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