New record for Germany as USA and France advance
THE DAY REPLAYED: Day four at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship Russia 2006 saw the first teams through to the quarter-finals.
France scored the only goal of the game against Congo DR and the USA ran out 4-1 winners Argentina to emerge safely from Group D with a game in hand and consign the South Americans and their African counterparts to an early trip home.
Over in Group C, Germany atoned for their shock 2-0 opening match defeat against Korea DPR with a crushing 9-1 victory over Mexico in Moscow. The Germans thus overtake the mark set by Canada, 7-0 winners against Thailand in 2004, for the biggest win in tournament history.
The crowd at Moscow's Dynamo stadium witnessed a veritable goal feast as the team coached by Maren Meinert bristled with resolve and clinically brushed aside their bewildered opponents.
Anna Blasse helped herself to a hat-trick , with Monique Cisneros netting the consolation effort for the dejected Mexicans. Charyln Corral, Mexico's best player from their opening match, spent the first half on the bench, but even the talented 14-year-old was powerless to save the day against the rampant Germans.
Korea DPR registered a comfortable 4-0 victory over Switzerland in Group C's evening match to cement top spot, although the day's results mean the section theoretically remains open. Jong Pok Hui opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time before Kim Ok Sim doubled the advantage shortly after the re-start, and Kim Song Hui later netted a quick-fire brace in the space of two minutes to settle the issue.
The Asians now require a draw against Mexico to be certain of a place in the last eight, whereas Switzerland's only hope is to win by seven clear goals against Germany when the group comes to a climax on Thursday .
France and USA progress, but fail to impress
In Group D, everything bar top spot and the wooden spoon has now been decided, with the USA and France now unassailable at the top of the standings.
The Americans registered a routine victory over Argentina despite coach Tim Schulz's attempt to shake up his team by bringing in seven new faces from the side that beat Congo DR.
The USA were far from convincing but still too strong for their inexperienced opponents, barely breaking sweat in running up a 4-1 final score. Consolation for the South Americans came in the shape of their first goal at the event courtesy of Mercedes Pereyra on 53 minutes. For the US, Jessica Rostedt, Danesha Adams, Alexandra Long and Casey Nogueira featured on the scoresheet.
The spectators at the Torpedo stadium also saw the first sending off of the tournament when the Americans' Kelley O'Hara received her marching orders on 73 minutes for a second bookable offence. It was a brief run-out for the chastened youngster, as she had barely appeared as a second half substitute before collecting a first yellow card.
France booked their last-eight berth with a narrow 1-0 victory over Congo DR in the evening, ensuring both they and the USA would progress from the group.
The French struggled for long periods against the disciplined and courageous Africans, but Amandine Henry conjured up the vital winner with a powerful header just before half-time. The two confirmed quarter-finalists now meet on Thursday to decide which of them will go through as group winners.