Albufeira (Portugal), March 2 (IANS) The Netherlands defeated China 1-0 in their opening match at the 2017 Algarve Cup women's football tournament here.
Renate Jansen scored the only goal of the match for the Netherlands 12 minutes into Wednesday's game with a low shot from the left that went past Chinese goalkeeper Zhao Lina.
The Netherlands could have won by a bigger margin as three shots either hit the bar or the post.
It was pretty tough for the 13th-ranked Chinese during the Group C clash in their 21st appearance at this tournament, as they will face three opponents all higher than them on the FIFA world rankings.
"We played quite bad in the first 25 minutes," admitted Bruno Bini, the Chinese team's head coach.
China got their best chance in the 14th minute but Zhang Rui's shot was blocked by Holland goalkeeper Angela Christ.
China made a substitution early in the second half with forward Wang Shanshan replacing Tang Jiali.
Chinese strikers Wang Shanshan and Wang Shuang created a few chances but could not find the back of the net.
"We did better in the second half, but it was a pity that we did a poor job in putting the ball into the goal," said Bruno, adding that his side was punished for their poor performance in the early stages of the game.
"After we scored early in the first half, we could control the game. We put more pressure on China after the restart, but they also could get more space, and they used the space better than we did," Dutch head coach Sarina Wiegman said.
China will meet world No.8 Sweden in Santo Antonio on Friday, and the Netherlands' next opponents will be Australia.