It’s do or die for China and Haiti this Friday. With both teams starting their FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign with a loss, victory is essential for any chance of progression. China have never failed to progress from their group, and will be eager to remain in contention for a spot in the knockout rounds with victory over Haiti. However, the World Cup debutants surprised many with their performance against England and may prove to be a tricky opponent for the Steel Roses.
The clash in Adelaide will likely be a crucial turning point in each team’s tournaments. China have been a consistent staple of the FIFA Women’s World Cup – only failing to qualify for one. They even managed to reach the final of the 1999 tournament, falling at the final hurdle as they finished as runners-up. Their quality and consistency is undeniable in this tournament, and it showed in their opener against Denmark.
The Steel Roses managed to control the match early on and create multiple chances, but to no avail. The two sides were evenly matched for the majority of the match until Denmark’s Vangsgaard scored late to take all three points. The result could be attributed to the Chinese manager’s decision to leave Wang Shuang on the bench – or even fatigue from their busy World Cup preparation. Regardless of reason, China will take solace in only losing by the slimmest of margins. Although, it will matter nought if they fail to take advantage of it by beating Haiti. It may be their only chance of points with England awaiting them in the final group stage match.
Haiti expected little and yet performed impressively against England. Opponents in tournament openers don’t get much tougher than the reigning European Champions, especially in your first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup. However, les Grenadiéres managed to frustrate and exposed England’s defensive line multiple times. The Haitians showed skill and poise whenever they broke through which clearly rattled England. It was only through a retaken penalty that Georgia Stanway scored the decisive goal to give England the win.
Despite their impressive performance, it was mistakes, such as handball and goal-line encroachment, that ultimately cost Haiti the points. If they manage to improve this side of their game, they will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with on Friday.
Hindmarsh Stadium will play host to this exciting clash where failure is not an option if either side wishes to progress. Both will have a point to prove after losing their opening matches by only the slimmest of margins. However, at this level, the margins for error are tight and there are no prizes for second-best. Will China find their groove and put themselves back in contention or do Haiti have an ace up their sleeve? All will be revealed at full-time in Adelaide.
China has a fully fit and available squad for Friday’s fixture. Haiti’s Jennyfer Limage has been ruled out of the remainder of the tournament after suffering an ACL injury against England.
China: Huan; Mengwen, Shanshan, Wei, Qiaozhu; Shuang, Rui, Lina, Linyan; Chengshu, Jiahui
Haiti: Theus; Petit-Frere, Mathurin, Joseph, K. Louis; Jeudy, Pierre-Louis; B. Louis, Dumornay, Mondesir; Borgella
Where can I watch?
Kick-off at Hindmarsh Stadium is scheduled for 12:00pm UK time on Friday, 28th July. The coverage will begin at 11:30am on ITV1 and ITVX. If you’re unable to watch the match, fear not – we’ll have a detailed match report published within minutes on the final whistle.