Day three of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago kicks off with the jangling nerves and jitters of opening day out of the way. The hosts will be keen to build on their debut win, but Nigeria – who edged holders Korea DPR in their first game – will provide a sterner test than outsiders Chile did. Germany destroyed Mexico by a stunning 9-0 scoreline in Tobago and look to have a tricky one coming up against debutants South Africa, who were lively in their loss to Korea Republic. Elsewhere, Korea DPR will hope to rebound against Chile while Mexico aim for redemption against the South Koreans.
Match of the day
Trinidad and Tobago – Nigeria (Marabella) – 19.00
“We can play better,” was the warning of T&T’s Norwegian coach Even Pellerud after the hosts made history with a 2-1 win over Chile, a first for a women’s team from the Caribbean country in a FIFA competition. The Nigerians should take those words to heart, but judging by their impressive come-from-behind 3-2 win over defending champions Korea DPR, the west Africans – led by the sharp attacking duo of Francisca Ordega and Hgozi Oboki – are unlikely to be overawed. “Our confidence is high,” was the understated assessment of Flamingoes’ boss Peter Dedevbo before the contest.
The other matches
Korea DPR came into the competition as favourites, having claimed the first U-17 crown in 2008 in New Zealand. After losing a tense encounter to Nigeria in their opener, coach Ri Song Gun’s charges will have to show their mettle and the “similarities to the champions of 2008,” that he admitted to recognising in his current crop.
DPR’s southern neighbours will be bolstered by their opening win against South Africa, who looked the far better team for large chunks of the 3-1 win for South Korea. Yeo Min Ji produced a pair of goals as a first-half substitute and is a fine spearhead in a coherent, if unspectacular, team. The South Africans, though, have captured the heart of Tobagonian fans with their stylish, speedy and spirited play. Unfortunately for coach Solomon Luvhengo’s girls, they meet the German juggernaut next. Coach Ralf Peter’s description of his side’s 9-0 demolition of Mexico as “a perfect start,” sounds like significant underestimation of his team's result.
33 – The number of shots Germany took against a shell-shocked Mexico. A full 16 of those were on target and nine of them ended up in the back of the net. The Europeans’ three-pronged attack of Lena Petermann, Kyra Malinowski and Len Lotzen accounted for eight of those, leaving Germany very much on cloud nine.
What they said
“Scoring goals is not something you work on; you either take your chances or you don’t. We had plenty of chances against the Koreans and we failed to take them. Hopefully against Germany it will not be the same case.” South Africa boss Solomon Luvhengo to FIFA.com after his side spurned an early penalty and missed countless good chances in their opener.