Competition
  • Final ATP World Tour
Final ATP World Tour
stefanos_tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas Stefanos Tsitsipas
-
alexander_zverev Alexander Zverev Alexander Zverev
-

Spain fail to surmount the 'Chinese Wall'

When José Antonio Camacho was head coach of the Chinese national side, the president of the federation once asked him how come the team weren't world champions with so many players to chose from. The Murcian replied that the average Chinese player was naive and lacked a combative spirit. Yesterday's final Group B game at the 2019 Women's World Cup in France showed us that the Chinese women's team are made of sterner stuff. They are not afraid to get stuck in and were impressive in their defensive solidity and doggedness (though nothing on a par to what we saw from the Italian U-21 side in Bologna) and generally made life complicated for Jorge Vilda's side.

Women's World Cup - Group B - China v SpainSoccer Football - Women's World Cup - Group B - China v Spain - Stade Oceane, Le Havre, France - June 17, 2019 China's Yuping Lin, China's Shanshan Liu and team mates celebrate after the match REUTERS/Phil Noble

Zest

Despite Vilda's side dominating proceedings and indeed securing the support of the neutral French fans with their attacking zest, a draw was the final result. With the point, we progress to the Round of 16 as Group B runners-up behind the Germans. The next phase of the competition will see us pitted against stern opposition in the shape of the USA and this maybe explains why the Chinese side celebrated their third place in Group B so ardently. Despite a difficult game in the next stage, this World Cup has seen the women's team make history by securing the first ever win and even progress to the Round of 16 at a World Cup and their triumphs will go someway in further boosting the game in Spain. 

Jorge Vilda with Spain players

Watershed

This game and the entire tournament is being broadcast live on GOL Television here and indeed with the global television coverage the tournament is very much a watershed for the women's game. Women's football has come along way in Spain despite Real Madrid's reluctance to form a women's team. The national side have made it through to the next phase playing a brand of attractive football which has received the plaudits from the public and it's somewhat a shame that our opponent in the next round will be competition favourites USA or even the highly fancied Sweden side.