France held to draw by Jamaica

The first four days of the FIFA World Cup have mostly gone to form with plenty of penalties being handed out and big crowds turning up for the games.

In last night's results, Denmark picked up a 1-0 win over China in their opening game, and Netherlands edged Portugal by the same margin.

The biggest shock came when Jamaica, despite being given a red cad, held heavyweights France to a nil-all draw.

Tonight sees Italy meet Argentina at Eden Park, world number two Germany face Morocco, and Brazil take on Panama.

On Sunday afternoon, South Africa almost managed to eclipse New Zealand for the biggest upset of the tournament so far in Wellington last night.

World Number three Sweden were rocked when South Africa opened the scoring and the biggest upset was in the making.

However the Swedes, who have finished third three times and second once at the World Cup, manage to bundle home an equaliser before grabbing the winner just a few minutes from time.

Penalties have been a feature of the tournament so far, with just as many missed as converted.

By today all of the first round games, bar one, will have been played, with New Zealand's upset win over Norway still the biggest result.

Penalties have been a feature of the tournament so far, with just as many missed as converted.

And that led to perhaps the surprise of the weekend as Olympic champions Canada fought out a goal-less draw with Nigeria.

Canada were one of the teams that were expected to have no problems qualifying from Group B.

Canada coach Bev Priestman has taken a philosophical approach to the result against an opposition ranked 33 places below them.

"I think this is tournament football and I go to the Olympic Games we won, we started with a draw.

"So you've got to move on very quickly, you can get lost and be really down on that.

"Of course we're devastated we didn't three points, but at the end of the day we got one and we took two from another team."

It was certainly a game to remember for Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie saving a penalty from the international games all-time leading scorer Christine Sinclair.

"When she took the ball I was like okay it's Sinclair again, because the last time we played against them she scored against me and I was very angry.

"So I thought this is the opportunity to make things right, so it's one one for me and Sinclair."

England appeared a bit laboured in their 1-nil win over Haiti in Brisbane.

The European champions needed a first half penalty to grab the three points.

45,000 turned out at Suncorp Stadium with most supporting England, much to the delight of coach Sarina Wiegman.

"It's really exciting, before we started I said to my assistants it felt like we were playing in England because there is so much noise when it's about us.

"That's pretty special when you play on the other side of the world."

Spain, Japan and the USA also had comfortable wins.

A bigger score line was predicted than the 3-nil victory the Americans had over Vietnam.

Coach Vlatko Andonovski admits his side may have been a bit nervous, especially with 6 players involved in their first ever World Cup game.

However he was happy with the number of scoring opportunities they created, but he's looking for more of those to be converted when they take on the Netherlands later this week.

"I'm not worried about it, actually I'm very encouraged by the soccer we displayed.

"Going into game two they will go in more encouraged, less nerves and no stress."

The Football Ferns head to Wellington Monday to prepare for Tuesday's game against the Philippines.

A win would all but seal the Ferns a place in the last 16.

After years playing club football overseas defensive midfielder Katie Bowen is looking forward to a return to Wellington - a place that holds special football memories.

"I was a part of the under-17's in 2008 where we had a great win there in the pouring rain so I'm hoping the rain holds off.

"It's a really football city so I know they're going to get behind us and that means the world to us."

Philippines coach Alen Stajcic described New Zealand's win over Norway as "one of the biggest upsets in the history of the women's world cup," but isn't writing off his side's chances against the Ferns.

"They deserved to win, they were the better team, they were more aggressive and energetic and they probably should have won by more.

"Next game's a different ball game though isn't it, starts at nil-all again."

On Tuesday New Zealand can continue their record breaking run, while on Thursday the USA play the Netherlands in a replay of the 2019 final.