Hermoso penalties help Spain avoid South Africa upset

Saturday June 8 2019

Spain's forward Jennifer Herm

Spain's forward Jennifer Hermoso (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring a second penalty kick during the France 2019 Women's World Cup Group B football match between Spain and South Africa, on June 8, 2019, at the Oceane Stadium in Le Havre, northwestern France. AFP photo 

By AFP

Jenni Hermoso converted a pair of second-half penalties as Spain recovered from a goal down to beat Women's World Cup newcomers South Africa 3-1 in their opening game Saturday.

Thembi Kgatlana put South Africa ahead on 25 minutes with a curling strike from the edge of the box, but Atletico Madrid forward Hermoso twice scored from the spot as Spain fought back.

Nothando Vilakazi was sent off for a raised boot as she conceded the second penalty, awarded after a VAR review, with Lucia Garcia sealing victory a minute from time.

Spain are level on points at the top of Group B with two-time former champions Germany, who launched their campaign with a 1-0 victory over 1999 finalists China.

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