U-20 teams learn their fate

Dresden Castle was the spectacular venue for the official group stage draw for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010 this Thursday. The representatives from each of the 16 qualified nations followed proceedings attentively as their opponents for the group stages of the tournament which takes place between 13 July and 1 August in the four host cities of Augsburg, Bielefeld, Bochum and Dresden were revealed.

There promises to be plenty of excitement in Group C, in which England, Nigeria, Mexico and Japan will be competing for a place in the quarter-finals. Hosts Germany are up against Costa Rica, Colombia and France in Group A, while reigning champions USA were drawn with Ghana, Switzerland and Korea Republic. However, the toughest group on paper is probably Group B, which pits Brazil with former champions Korea DPR, European giants Sweden and New Zealand.

In a curious twist of fate, the opening game of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup mirrors the first fixture of the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ as the hosts take on Costa Rica.

Following the Draw, Steffi Jones said: "You can hear and feel the enthusiasm and euphoria. The guests can look forward to four great host cities and you should be aware that the U-20 girls play world class football." Whereas Der Kaiser, Franz Beckenbauer, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups, added: "The U-20 Women's World Cup in Chile was a very successfull World Cup. I am pretty sure that Germany 2010 will be as successfull as the one in Chile two years ago."

The draw itself was presided over by Tatjana Haenni, FIFA's Head of Women's competitions, and carried out by six high-profile players from the world of women's football, Yuki Nagasato (Japan), Carol Carioca (Brazil), Adjoa Bayor (Ghana), Alexandra Krieger, Marie-Louise Bagehorn and Dzsenifer Marozsan (all Germany).

The 16 teams were split into four groups of four, with the top two teams from each group going through to the quarter-finals.

The teams were drawn into the following groups:

Group A: Germany (hosts), Costa Rica, Colombia and France

Group B: Brazil, Korea DPR, Sweden, New Zealand

Group C: England, Nigeria, Mexico, Japan

Group D: USA, Ghana, Switzerland, Korea Republic