Germany beats South Africa 4-0 to win World Cup group

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Germany beats South Africa 4-0 to win World Cup group
South Africa goalkeeper Andile Dlamini, center, catches the ball against Germany's Alexandra Popp during the Women's World Cup Group B soccer match between South Africa and Germany at the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier, France, Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)

MONTPELLIER, France (AP) — Germany won its Women’s World Cup group for the fifth consecutive time and avoided an immediate matchup with the United States by routing South Africa 4-0 on Monday.

Germany topped Group B with a 3-0 record and will play a third place team in its round of 16 match Saturday at Grenoble.

Germany had to grind out 1-0 wins over both China and Spain, but its offense finally broke out with three goals in the first half against South Africa. That matched its total goals in its previous five World Cup games.

Germany had already clinched a spot in the round of 16 before the game began against South Africa.

South Africa was winless in group play and outscored 8-1. At 49th, South Africa had the lowest ranking of the 24 teams in the tournament.

Spain finished Group B as runner-up after a 0-0 draw with China, and advanced to the knockout stage for the first time. Spain will face the winner of Group F on Monday at Reims and the United States would be the opponent with a victory or draw in its final group match against Sweden.

Melanie Leupolz opened the scoring in the 14th minute with her first goal for Germany since the 2016 Olympics. Sara Däbritz doubled the lead in the 29th minute and Alexandra Popp made it 3-0 in the 40th. Lina Magull added the final goal in the 58thth.

Two-time tournament champion Germany has not lost a match in group play since falling to Sweden in 1995.

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