VALENCIENNES, France (AP) — Germany is finding it far from easy going at the World Cup.
Against a skillful Spain, the two-time world champions relied on Sara Däbritz’s goal in the 42nd minute for the win Wednesday.
It was second-ranked Germany’s second successive 1-0 victory in Group B. Germany earned three points for an opening round 1-0 win over China.
The Germans, who have always reached at least the quarterfinals at Women’s World Cups, had to overcome slack defense before taking the lead.
Spain’s lack of production spared Germany an upset to the 13th-ranked team that is playing in only its second World Cup.
When a high ball was sent to Nahikari Garcia in the 14th minute, the forward broke through the center backs. But with only goalkeeper Almuth Schult to beat, Garcia chipped wide.
Germany took the lead against the run of play. Sandra Paños had just saved Alexandra Popp’s header but she couldn’t keep hold of it and Däbritz pounced to bundle the loose ball into the net.