Six years on from their triumph at Canada 2002, USA defeated the reigning champions to take the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup crown, as well as the lion's share of individual and team accolades.
The North Americans downed Korea DPR 2-1 in the final at Chile 2008, an event where more goals have been scored than at any previous edition. The distinction of finishing third went to Germany, who defeated France in a pulsating encounter.
The defending champions set out resolutely to hold onto their throne, to such an extent that the Americans were pinned back for the opening quarter of an hour. However, the deadly duo of Alex Morgan and Sydney Leroux both found the net to justify their individual awards and pave the way towards a gold-medal success for the Stars and Stripes.
Trailing by two goals, the Koreans proceeded to dictate the tempo and pile on the pressure in the second half, only for their attacks to founder against the steely USA backline. Alyssa Naeher, subsequently voted the tournament's best keeper, suffered a blot on her copybook when conceding her only goal of the competition in the dying moments of the game, though it was a case of too little too late for the Russia 2006 champions.
The match for third place turned out to be a veritable feast of attacking football. Once the dust had settled, Germany emerged victorious against a French team who overcame their clear disappointment at a last-gasp semi-final elimination to contribute fully to Chile 2008's highest-scoring match.
Germany's Marie Pollmann had cause for a double celebration after firing a first-half hat-trick. It was the only triple of the competition and a perfect response to heavy criticism received after the group defeat against Japan. Though unable to find the net herself, Nicole Banecki was a genuine livewire throughout in attack for the Mannschaft, and was directly involved in four of her side's five goals.
Les Bleuettes lacked the bite shown in their semi-final reverse against Korea DPR but played a full part in a highly enjoyable encounter. Meanwhile, star striker Marie-Laure Delie was able to cap her return from injury with a goal, a fitting end to a fine tournament from the French No9.
Player of the day
Nicole Banecki's once again underlined her status as perhaps Germany's most influential performer here at Chile 2008. Gifted in possession, never shy of letting fire at goal and a tireless worker, Banecki made an invaluable contribution to the Mannschaft's attacking prowess. She was particularly outstanding in the Germans' final match, given her involvement in four of her team's five goals. "I missed a lot of goalscoring chances," said the modest front-runner. "But overall I'm satisfied with how I performed at this tournament."
What they said
"First of all I want to congratulate the North Korean players for the huge effort they put in. They put us under pressure and it was very hard for us to keep hold of our lead. But I'm very proud of the work my girls have put in," Tony DiCicco, United States coach.
Adidas Golden Ball: Sydney Leroux (USA)
Adidas Silver Ball: Alex Morgan (USA)
Adidas Bronze Ball: Eugenie Le Sommer (FRA)
Adidas Golden Shoe: Sydney Leroux (USA)
Adidas Silver Shoe: Ri Ye Gyong (PRK)
Adidas Bronze Shoe: Alex Morgan (USA)
Adidas Golden Glove: Alyssha Naeher (USA)
FIFA Fair Play Award: United States