Two of the favourites for the title, Brazil and Germany, will be aiming to record their second victories of the tournament to get within striking distance of the knockout phase. In contrast, reigning champions Korea DPR will be hoping to put their false start behind them but will have their work cut out against tough opponents. La Florida (Santiago) and Temuco are the venues for Sunday's fixtures at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Chile 2008, where the drama looks set to continue apace.
The opening matchday demonstrated, as if any proof were needed, that Maren Meinert and Norio Sasaki's teams are the red-hot favourites to qualify from Group C after outclassing Congo DR and Canada respectively. This match sees the title-winners from 2004 face the rising stars from Asia and will surely decide which of them wins the group.
A few weeks ago, the German coached explained in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com that their match with Japan had the potential to be a classic thanks to the skills of the two teams, who like to play attractive and flowing football. Another highlight of the game should be the battle between Germany's defensive midfielder Kim Kulig, who has two goals to her name already, and Japan's highly gifted playmaker Natsuko Hara - two names we will definitely be hearing much more of in the future.
The other matches
The second Group C tie sees Canada and Congo DR, who lost their opening matches to the big two, go head-to-head, with both sides desperate for three points to get back into the hunt for a quarter-final spot. CONCACAF champions Canada may have a physically strong side, but the pressure is on for Ian Bridge and his charges with qualification for the knock-out phase the minimum expected of them. The Africans also have some excellent individual talents in their ranks, so this has all the makings of a fascinating duel.
In Group D, Brazil will be looking to follow up their dramatic 3-2 win in the opener over defending champions Korea DPR with another three points against Mexico. Coach Kleiton Lima has a full squad to choose from and is hoping that his charges can now prove that their first match was not a one-off and that they are indeed genuine title contenders.
That opening defeat was certainly a wake-up call for the Koreans, and they will be doubly determined to put in a good performance on Sunday for their second match. That said, they find themselves up against a Norway side that plays a totally different style of football to Brazil, yet one that is no less effective. Kwang Sok Choe's team will certainly have their work cut out, as the physically strong Scandinavians have three points to their name already and are adept at snuffing out opposition attacks. This match will definitely be the acid test for Korea DPR's hopes of defending their title.
4 - The number of games that Japan had played in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup prior to Chile 2008 (all of them coming in Canada in 2002). They reached the quarter finals six years ago before going down to a 2-1 defeat after extra time against... Sunday's opponents Germany.
"If we get on a roll, anything is possible for us here in Chile."
Kim Kulig, Germany midfielder