The eight sides in action at the FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup Chile 2008 served up plenty of entertainment for the fans in Temuco and La Florida on Sunday, with the day's four games yielding a total of 17 goals.
The big winners on the day were Japan, who made sure of their place in the next round with victory over Germany in Group C, leaving the Europeans to fight it out with Canada in a what promises to be an exciting decider on Thursday. Congo DR, meanwhile, are definitely out. Over in Group D anything is still possible, although Brazil look odds-on to go through and Mexico will need a miracle to join them.
After impressing with victory over Canada in their first outing, Japan confirmed their status as the surprise packages of Chile 2008 by adding a second triumph over the mighty Germany, who put five past Congo DR in their group opener. Natsuko Hara earned rave reviews in helping the Asians defeat the Canucks and the diminutive No10 was at it again on Sunday, linking up to great effect with Asano Nagasato as their promising partnership continues to flourish. The Germans were off key, meanwhile, leaving coach Maren Meinert with much to ponder ahead of the winner-takes-all match with the Canadians.
The other matches
Brazil were barely stretched as they gorged themselves against struggling Mexico. The most the Aztecas could offer was the odd long shot from Charlyn Corral, while at the other end, the Auriverde helped themselves to five goals to run out comfortable winners in a one-sided encounter.
Canada also got among the goals but were made to work much harder for them by a valiant Congo DR side, who deserved better than the 4-0 defeat that became their fate. Despite their battling qualities, speed and individual skills, however, the Congolese had no answer to the North Americans' superior finishing and bade a sad farewell to their chances of reaching the last eight.
Reigning champions Korea DPR are suffering more than expected as they bid to retain their crown. Beaten 3-2 by Brazil in their opening game, the Koreans were 2-0 up inside 30 minutes against Norway only for Isabell Herlovsen to score twice just after the break to restore parity. The holders stuck to their task, however, and were rewarded for their persistence when they capitalised on some uncertain defending to secure the three points.
Ra Un Sim (Korea DPR)
With two goals and an assist, it is no surprise to see the Korea DPR forward get a mention as the outstanding performer of the day. There is more to Ra's game than just goals, however, and her mobility and tireless workrate ensured a busy day for the Norwegian defenders. An unused substitute in the Koreans' successful Russia 2006 campaign, Ra is applying the experience she gleaned there to great effect in Chile.
What they said
"I definitely wouldn't say it has become hard for us to go through. All we have to do is win our next game and that's it. We know very well who we are up against but we also know what we are capable of," Norway striker Ida Elise Enge looks forward to the showdown with Brazil.
All the results
Korea DPR 3-2 Norway
Mexico 0-5 Brazil
Germany 1-2 Japan
Canada 4-0 Congo DR