PERTH : Denmark captain Pernille Harder converted a first-half penalty to register her maiden Women’s World Cup goal, setting up a 2-0 victory over Haiti on Tuesday and a spot for her side in the last 16.
The result ends a long drought for the Danes, who last advanced to the knockout stage in 1995. After defeating China 6-1, England topped Group D and face Nigeria in Brisbane on Monday, while runners-up Denmark meet Australia in Sydney.
Denmark started with a bang and remained undeterred after a third-minute goal by defender Simone Boye was ruled offside by VAR.
Haiti midfielder Dayana Pierre-Louis conceded a penalty for handball in the 21st minute which gave Harder her moment, coolly slotting the ball in the bottom-left corner from the spot.
The Bayern Munich player could have had two more, with a 45th minute effort ruled offside and an 83rd minute header disallowed after forward Signe Bruun was found to have fouled the diminutive Caribbean goalkeeper Kerly Theus outside the box.
Haiti, ranked 55th in the world, showed great spirit in search of an equaliser, dominating periods after the break, but ultimately the experience of the 18th-ranked Danes shone through and substitute Sanne Troelsgaard sealed the result in stoppage time.
Haiti end their first World Cup campaign winless from three games.