The first time that two places at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup were up for grabs at a South American U-20 Women's Championship came prior to Russia 2006, Argentina taking full advantage to join Brazil on Russian soil. Once there, a lack of experience undermined their bid for success, two opening group defeats ruling out a place in the knockout stages. The Albiceleste did not go home empty-handed, however, dishing out a 4-0 hammering to Congo DR in their final first-round match to finish third in their group.
Argentina put in a highly creditable display at March's Sudamericano in Chile, bouncing back from an unexpected early defeat against the host nation to win their group and book a place at this year's world event with a match to spare. Though comfortably beaten by a powerful Brazil side in the final, the Argentine youngsters were worthy runners-up. The continued excellence in front of goal of Maria Belen Potassa also bodes well for Chile 2008.
"Most of our players were at the Olympics in Beijing. We have several options in each position and we have improved a lot recently. We played against France and USA at the last U-20 Women's World Cup (Russia 2006), and we know that they are strong opponents. The teams in our group will know us well but they should be worried about us as well because we have gotten much better," Yasushi Kawakami, Argentina coach.
Elizabeth Minnig (goalkeeper), Eva Gonzalez (defender), Ludmila Manicler (forward)
Maria Belen Potassa (forward), Florencia Mandrile (forward), Catalina Perez (defender), Gabriela Chavez (defender) and Emilia Mendieta (midfielder)
Argentina won five and drew two of their seven games at the Sudamericano, scoring 14 goals and conceding 11. Striker Maria Belen Potassa hit six goals to finish third in the tournament's scoring charts.
The numbers game
2 - This will be Argentina's second appearance at a FIFA Women's U-20 World Cup finals, the first coming at Russia 2006.