THE DAY REPLAYED – Matchday 3 at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2012 produced a rain of goals, with a total of 20 in four matches, and a new record or two on the side.
In Group A, Nigeria ran riot against hosts Azerbaijan, posting an 11-0 victory and recording the biggest-ever win for an African team at a FIFA tournament. In stark contrast, the defeat also sealed the host nation's premature exit from the tournament.
Newcomers Gambia will also head home after the preliminary stage in the wake of a 6-0 defeat to USA. The North Americans created plenty of chances in the first half but lacked the clinical touch in front of goal. It was a different story after the restart, as Amber Munerlyn needed just 27 seconds to make the score 2-0, netting the fastest second-half goal in the history of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.
Goal of the day
Korea DPR-France, Ri Un-Sum (59’)
A glorious pass by Kim Phyong-Hwa released Ri Un-Sim for a thrust into the French penalty area. The DPR Korea No10 accelerated away from two defenders before curling a shot past the keeper and into the bottom left corner. Ri Un-Sim was already identified as the Korean danger woman following her quickfire hat-trick in the Asians’ opening game.
Later games produce goal glut
Nigeria exploded off the blocks in their meeting with hosts Azerbaijan, firing seven goals without reply in the first 45 minutes at Lankaran City Stadium. In the parallel fixture at Dalga Arena in Baku, USA were proceeding at a rather more leisurely pace and were leading 1-0 at the same stage. After the break, both the Africans and the North Americans upped the ante, with the two matches eventually producing a final total of 17 goals.
Goals at a premium in early kick-offs
By contrast, the first pair of games to kick-off between France and Korea DPR, Colombia and Canada, were much more tense and closely-fought affairs, with the bulk of the goalmouth action in the second half. The only goal of the meeting between the Canadians and Colombia, scored by Summer Clarke at Baku's Shafa Stadium, came six minutes after the restart. A short time afterwards, DPR Korea took the lead at Dalga Arena, only for France to equalise 80 seconds later. In both matches, the first 45 minutes produced no goals whatsoever.
Ferrier’s rethink pays dividends
In their first fixture, France fielded Kadidiatou Diani as a central striker, but the Europeans failed to score against USA. In the meeting with DPR Korea, coach Guy Ferrier switched the player to the right wing, and it turned out to be an inspired piece of tinkering: Diani netted her team's vital equaliser on 60 minutes, handing the French every chance of making the quarters.
Summer-time in Baku
Summer temperatures are the main feature of the weather in Baku at the moment, and it was a “summery" day on the field as well. US striker Summer Green and Canadian counterpart Summer Clarke were their teams’ match-winning heroes on Tuesday, spreading appropriate warmth and smiles in the respective camps. Green finished with three goals and Clarke with one.
Stat of the day
80 – The French required just 80 seconds to cancel out DPR Korea’s opening goal, with Les Bleuettes setting a new record in the process. At the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2010 in Trinidad and Tobago, Korea Republic needed 94 seconds to equalise after going a goal down to Spain in the semi-finals. The Asians went on to win 2-1.
"This is an experience that will take time for all of us to get over, but it is something that will help us in football and in our lives." Sissy Raith, Azerbaijan coach
Wednesday 26 September 2012 (all times given are local)
Mexico-Brazil (Baku, 17:00)
New Zealand-Japan (Baku, 20:00)
Uruguay-Ghana (Baku, 17:00)
China PR-Germany (Baku, 20:00)