World Cup debuts and victories for Russo and Kuhl

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World Cup debuts and victories for Russo and Kuhl

Alessia Russo celebrates Georgia Stanway's winning penalty for the Lionesses

On her World Cup debut, Alessia Russo helped the Lionesses secure a narrow victory over a resilient Haiti in their opening game of the tournament. 

VAR made its presence known early on, overriding an England penalty appeal before granting another to the Lionesses a few minutes later.

There was yet more drama as Georgia Stanway stepped up and saw her spot-kick heroically saved by Kerly Theus, only for the Haitian goalkeeper to be penalised for encroachment. Stanway made no mistake with the retaken penalty, comfortably slotting into the bottom left corner.

As England's centre-forward, Russo looked dangerous throughout her spell, pressing relentlessly and forcing further saves from Theus. Her best chance came in the second half: after receiving the ball from Keira Walsh in the area, the number 23 took one touch to control, turned swiftly and unleashed a half-volley that was parried away for a corner. Russo was then swapped for Aston Villa's Rachel Daly in the 72nd minute. 

Mary Earps pulled off an excellent instinctive save to keep the Lionesses ahead after Roseline Eloissaint's curling effort looked sure to reach the target and the game ultimately finished 1-0 to the European Champions.

Our centre-back Lotte Wubben-Moy was an unused substitute for the clash. 

Late winner seals win for Denmark

Kathrine Kuhl in action for Denmark against China

Kathrine Kuhl featured for over an hour as Denmark capped off their first World Cup game in 16 years with a 1-0 win against China. 

Our 20-year-old midfielder made her World Cup debut in the Danish starting XI and in a characteristic display of composure and skill, Kuhl used her close ball control to wriggle free from three Chinese defenders in the middle of the park. 

Despite considerable pressure from China and a squandered open-goal opportunity for Denmark, the Group D clash remained goalless until the 89th minute.

Pernille Harder's late corner found Amalie Vangsgaard and the substitute's powerful header travelled from the edge of the box all the way over the goalline.

Russo and Wubben-Moy will face Kuhl in the next Group D game on July 28. Kick-off is at 9:30am GMT. 

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