China suffer second defeat in a row at Algarve Cup
China suffered a second consecutive defeat at the Algarve Cup after falling to Denmark 1-0 on Monday.
Danish skipper Pernille Harder converted a penalty around the hour mark, while the Chinese side saw two efforts denied by woodwork. Denmark, who finished second behind Norway in Group B, while the Steel Roses' second defeat consigned them to the last place.
"We were a bit impatient in dealing with the ball," said Chinese player Li Jiayue.
China's coach Jia Xiuquan made several changes to the starting line-up, seeing a regular composition in attack with Wang Shuang and Wang Shanshan up in front. Bi Xiaolin replaced Wang Shimeng as the starting goalie.
Harder sent a left-flank cross after breaking into China's defensive line in the 11th minute before Emilie Henriksen saw her shot at the back post just wide.
Harder's Chinese counterpart Zhang Rui almost broke the deadlock 10 minutes later, but her left-footed curling shot only bounced off the post.
Wang Shuang, currently playing for French club Paris Saint-Germain, sped past Danish goalkeeper Line Johansen in the 34th minute but failed to connect teammates on position to slot home.
Danish striker Amalie Thestrup saw her shot wide in the 40th minute. Two minutes later, Wang had another strike blocked by Johansen before the first half ended in a stalemate.
Denmark were awarded a penalty midway through the second half, as Wang Shanshan was penalized for pushing an opponent inside the area. Harder didn't waste the ensuing penalty.
Chinese teenager Zhao Yujie was close to register a magical international debut. After two shots in a row by fellow substitutes Yang Man and Wu Chengshu were blocked, the 19-year-old Zhao, playing and pursuing a degree at Florida State University, turned around and fired a powerful strike, but it just went off the crossbar.
"Actually I felt a bit nervous, it's my international debut," admitted Zhao.
China will face the Netherlands in the 11th-place classification.