Several teams will be vying to clinch the last available ticket to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup quarter-finals when the third and final games in groups C and D unfold on Sunday. With three teams already through and just two out of the running, a trio of hopefuls will be desperate to the seal their progress as the tension reaches a crescendo.
Match of the day
Paraguay-Spain, 23 March, Estadio Edgardo Baltodano, Liberia, 17.00 (local time)
Despite losing their opening game to Japan, Spain will take to the pitch with three points under their belts courtesy of their triumph against New Zealand. Another win would therefore propel them through to the last eight whatever happens elsewhere, while a draw could also suffice. As for Paraguay, who took a point against New Zealand before suffering a heavy loss to Japan, they need to dust themselves down and go for broke, with victory their only possible route into the knockout phase. However the game ends, the chances are high that one of these two teams will be celebrating qualification at the final whistle.
The other matches
The other game in Group C brings Japan face to face with New Zealand. The Young Nadeshiko have been immaculate so far, clinching a top-two spot thanks to a pair of wins, whereas the Young Football Ferns lie level with Paraguay on a single point and need to prevail to have any hope of going through. Given their Asian rivals have swept aside all before them so far, that already appears a daunting task.
In Group D, Nigeria and Mexico will lock horns with the pressure off after confirming their graduation with two victories apiece, though both will be keen to top the section. Eliminated duo Colombia and China PR will then close out the day's play as they look to exit the tournament on a high.
Player to watch
Japan midfielder Hina Sugita helped herself to a hat-trick in just 11 minutes as her side dismantled Paraguay 10-0 last time out, a feat that earned her the nod as the Live Your Goals Player of the Match. Sugita's haul was also the third treble by a Japanese player at the U-17 Women's World Cup.
1 – Mexico's 4-0 success against China PR was the side's first over an Asian outfit at the U-17 Women's World Cup, and it likewise guaranteed them a maiden place in the quarter-finals.
"Japan are favourites for the competition. We met them in a friendly in the United States and they beat us [5-0]. That match was useful because now we're better prepared to take them on," Jitka Klimkova, New Zealand coach.
Japan-New Zealand (Estadio Nacional, San Jose, 17.00)
Paraguay-Spain (Estadio Edgardo Baltodano, Liberia, 17.00)