THE DAY REPLAYED – Day 2 of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago lacked the fireworks and grandeur of opening day, but still provided a fair bit of incident and tension to keep the party going in the Caribbean. It’s always a carnival when Brazil take centre-stage and their outstanding striker Glaucia put on quite a show in a tough 2-1 win over Republic of Ireland in Arima. The late Group D match lacked for flair, with Canada eventually edging Ghana against the run-of-play in an overly cautious contest.
Group C also kicked off in Couva with Spain on the happy end of a 4-1 result against the Japanese. The European champions were far superior to their Asian opponents, but the scoreline did flatter a bit. The other game in the section saw Venezuela carve out a bit of history with a win against New Zealand, their first three-point haul for any of the country's female teams at a FIFA world finals.
Goal of the day
Republic of Ireland – Brazil, Glaucia (61)
Glaucia has emerged as one of the gems of these finals. Seconds after the Irish had equalised her early opener, the elegant Brazilian attacker collected the ball at the corner of the penalty and rounded Aileen Gilroy as if she were a statue. She then opened up her body and curled the ball just inside the far post to claim a goal reminiscent of Thierry Henry in his glory days.
No1 double trouble
Spain’s 4-1 win over Japan may look comfortable on paper, but the European champions owe a debt of gratitude to goalkeeper Dolores Gallardo. Apart from having a generally exceptional match, she made a pair of double saves that boggled the mind. First, in the 15th minute, she saved twice from Chika Kato and then repeated the double dose in the closing seconds, saving two one-on-ones from Kumi Yokoyama and Mai Kyokawa.
South America celebrates
Joyous celebrations abounded for Trinidad and Tobago 2010’s South American contingent as Brazil, reigning champions of the continent, rode the style of Glaucia to victory over the Irish. Her second was celebrated with a ‘bunny hop’ dance in which the striker and her team-mates jumped right, then left and back again, all wearing broad grins. Similarly, both of Ysaura Viso’s goals for Venezuela were met with a massive roar from the mob of travelling Vinotinto fans who made the short journey from their homeland to the warm climes of the southern Caribbean.
1 – The number of wins that Venezuela's women's sides have amassed in global competition. The result came thanks to a pair of goals from star striker Viso, the spearhead of a no-nonsense, fast-moving side. “Ball possession is not our philosophy. Our "concept" is speed and physical condition. Our style is the counter-attack,” is the blunt assessment of coach Kenneth Zseremeta.
What they said
“The Spanish players were very strong. When my team came into the changing room at half-time most of them were in a state of shock. I told them ‘go out there and do what you know'.” Japan coach Hiroshi Yoshida on the advice he gave his charges at half-time of the 4-1 loss to Spain.