There’s little doubt China was the better side in Thursday’s meeting with the Netherlands, but their Women’s World Cup hopes needed every second of the match to stay solid.
The Chinese out shot and out possessed the Dutch, and maintain control of their World Cup fate after Wang Lisi scored in the second minute of stoppage time to lift China to a 1-0 win.
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Perhaps the story of the game, other than the score line, was an injury to China goalkeeper Wang Fei. The 25-year-old endured a fierce collision that left her near tears and favoring her shoulder, but she remained in the match against the odds, grimacing with every save and breaking down after the final whistle.
Ma Jun could’ve won the three points in the 86th minute off a fine bit of combination play, but airmailed a 9-yard shot over the bar. A minute later, Jun saw her header collected by Sari van Veenendahl.
But Lisi’s sixth international goal came with a classy touch as the Dutch unsuccessfully tried to play out the final minutes.
China’s World Cup hopes have flipped with the win, now even with the Netherlands on three points. Canada has three points and plays New Zealand later this evening.