​Germany won their opening match of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup as Giulia Gwinn fired home the only goal of the encounter on her competitive debut for the two-time champions.

The 19-year-old drove in from the edge of the area to sink a plucky China outfit at Roazhon Park, sending her side top of Group B in the process.

Germany 1-0 China

Though they dominated for large periods, the Europeans struggled to break down a resilient Steel Roses team in Rennes.  

The sides both struck the woodwork before the deadlock was broken, Yang Li hitting the upright when presented with a fine opportunity to score after opponent Carolin Simon had rattled the bar in a tense clash.

Gwinn punished sub-par defending shortly after the hour-mark, China failing to clear a corner before the starlet slotted in for the German's first World Cup goal in over 300 minutes of football.

Spain 3-1 South Africa

Facing opposition placed 36 places below them in the FIFA world rankings, Spain needed a great late comeback to secure victory in their first Group B match, Jennifer Hermoso and Lucia Garcia ensuring they joined the Germans at the top of the pool.

A lofted attempt from Thembi Kgatlana saw the underdogs take a surprise lead, the forward's shot arcing beyond the desperate reach of Sandra Panos.

They held onto that advantage until deep into the second period, Hermoso dispatching a spot-kick in the 70th-minute after her side had laid siege to the South Africa goal for nearly the entirety of the half.

The ​Atletico Madrid playmaker then grabbed her second of the encounter, once again converting a penalty as Spain turned the game on its head in a matter of minutes. 

Jennifer Hermoso

It was an ill-timed challenge from Nothando Vilakazi's that handed Hermoso the opportunity, the defender being receiving a second yellow card and, as a result, her marching orders for the foul.

A man and a goal up, the Spaniards sealed the win through Garcia's composed finish, the 20-year-old calmly rounding the goalkeeper before walking the ball into an empty net.

Norway 3-0 Nigeria 

A 17-minute first-half blitz guaranteed a strong start to the tournament for Norway, with Guro Reiten, Lisa-Marie Utland and an own-goal from Osinachi Ohale downing Nigeria.

The 1995 winners went a goal up through Reiten's deflected attempt, the ball wrong-footing the desparing Tochukwu Oluehi.

Though the scoreline appears comfortable and they controlled proceedings, all of the Norwegian's goals had an element of luck about them, Oluehi allowing Utland's powerful blast to slip through her grip and into the net.

In a comedy of errors, defender Osinachi Ohale completed the scoring when she inadvertently turned home for her opponents, compounding the Africans' woes on a testing evening at the Stade Auguste-Delaune II in Reims.