Spain overcomes South Africa golazo thanks to a very unusual penalty foul (video)

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Nothando Vilakazi's hanging cleat drives into the leg of Spain's Lucia Garcia during the Women's World Cup on Saturday. (Reuters)
Nothando Vilakazi's hanging cleat drives into the leg of Spain's Lucia Garcia during the Women's World Cup on Saturday. (Reuters)

Spain rallied in the second half to beat South Africa 3-1 to earn the first Women’s World Cup win in its history.

Two of those goals came thanks to Jennifer Hermoso penalties, and the second one, which gave Spain its first lead in the 83rd minute, was not exactly a run-of-the-mill whistle.

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After a lengthy Video Assistant Referee review, South African defender Nothando Vilakazi earned a second yellow card and a sending off for her challenge on Spain’s Lucia Garcia, which you can see here starting around the 42-second mark:

To be clear, that’s a penalty all day. Vilakazi’s cleat ran straight into Garcia’s inner thigh. No one here is disputing the call.

You just don’t typically see that kind of infringement for a penalty. Vilakazi actually made the clearance before leaving her leg hanging too long. More frequently, penalties are whistled after a player is knocked over or dragged down in the box.

Or if there’s a handball, like the one that led to Hermoso’s first penalty midway through the second half. Garcia put the game to bed on a breakaway right before stoppage time.

South Africa took the lead through Thembi Kgatlana in the 25th minute. This impressive strike represents the first Women’s World Cup goal ever for the country:

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