SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28: Lauren James of England in action during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 match between England and Denmark at Sydney Football Stadium on July 28, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Norvik Alaverdian ATPImages/Getty Images)

FIFAWWC Match Day Nine - Match of the Tournament shout, VAR drama

Keep up to date with Edge of the Crowd's coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as an action-packed Day Nine saw what could be the potential match of the tournament. How did it all unfold? Read on to find out.

Check out everything that happened on Day Eight with our recap right here:

Argentina v South Africa

In what could be the game of the tournament - at least so far -, South Africa was to rue another missed opportunity to be on the winning end of a result during this year's tournament, unable to hold onto a lead once again. Banyana Banyana lead 2-0 with just over 20 minutes to play, only to squander that margin and have to settle for a point alongside La Albiceleste.

Credit must go to a resilient Argentinan side though, to come back from a two-goal deficit, not messing about and letting the margin deter them, converting two goals in five minutes to level the scores, that all started with a long-range stunner from Sophia Braun.

Argentina looked unable to threaten the South African defence, especially in the first half, not even registering a shot on target until the second half. But, Argentina made it count when it needed to, as neither side could put away chances as the 90 minutes ticked down.

While both sides receive their first points of the tournament, neither is likely to progress. Argentina face Sweden, and South Africa take on Italy during Group G's Matchday Three proceedings.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Thembi Kgatlana (RSA). Kgatlana scored South Africa's second goal and created the most attempts at goal than anyone else on the pitch as she looked lively in the attacking third, trying to find a way to edge her team over the line.

England v Denmark

England coach Sarina Wiegman is known for her consistent lineups, as was evidenced throughout the Euros last year and this Women's World Cup. Until this match against Denmark where she made two changes to the starting XI - Lauren James and Rachel Daly in for Lauren Hemp and Jess Carter.

And it proved to be a masterstroke right from the begging as James got the Three Lionesses firing early on - scoring England's first goal from open play since a victorious meeting with Brazil in April - as the nation held on for the remaining 84 minutes to go top of the Group D with their second win in as many games.

For Denmark, the side was dominated for much of the first half, and pressed to find an equaliser inside the final 15 minutes, with England's goalkeeper Mary Earps tested on more than one occasion.

England was dealt a blow however, with a key cog in their lineup, Kiera Walsh going down with a knee injury, as she could be seen uttering. Attempting to block a pass in the midfield with an outstretched leg, she appeared to outstretch her knee. Teary-eyed and in pain, not wanting to get up and waving off her teammates for support, she was stretchered from the ground and seen in crutches at the full-time whistle.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Lauren James (ENG). James made her first-ever start in an England jersey and showed why she should be in the starting XI. She scored the only goal of the game with a rocket outside of the box (and could've had a brace either side of the 21st minute), and went from strength to strength with a series of exciting runs across the pitch.

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China v Haiti

Shui Qingxia's team defied all that was against them to overcome Haiti and pick up their first win - and points - of this year's campaign and stay in the hunt for a top-two finish. This 1-0 result against debutants Haiti was done with only 10 players for two-thirds of the match, with Zhang Rui receiving a straight red for a studs-up tackle on Sherly Jeudy inside the 29th minute of play.

The Steel Roses were rocked, but kept their calm to see out to remaining 15 minutes to half-time, with Les Grenadières unable to capitalise on having the extra player, with their best chance coming just before half-time, only for Nerilia Mondesir to be offside.

Out of the half-time break, Haiti still pressed, but stuggled in the forward third. Meanwhile, the match turned on its head when China was awarded a penalty (following VAR intervention) which lead to Wang Shuang scoring from the spot for what would be the only goal of the game.

The game wasn't without additional VAR drama however, with at least three chances for penalties across the contest, either not given or not looked at. It frustrated Haiti's coach Nicolas Delépine, as two possible penalties weren't given to his side inside second-half stoppage time.

Despite the non-decisions, Haiti really only came to play in those final 10 minutes of the match, perhaps disheartened by the goal, but certainly feeling hard done by as a result of the lack of attention from the referee to award penalties to the Carribean nation to potentially draw the encounter.

Nothing is lost for either side just yet, though. All four teams in Group D can stil make the knockout stages, with Haiti (zero points) coming up against Denmark (three points), whereas China (three points) still has hope heading into a match against England (six points) on Matchday Three.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Wang Shuang (CHN). After being substituted on at half-time, Wang was the difference in this game. Her forward run and passes helped China on the attack, laying the pass to Zhang Linyan who would be brought down in the box, before stepping up and converting the would-be match-winner.

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