Champs march on, joy for Mexico
© Getty Images

THE DAY REPLAYED: Led by star striker Sydney Leroux, reigning champions USA reached the first objective in their title defence, beating Korea Republic 1-0 to take top spot in Group D. The South Koreans had the consolation of joining them in the last eight, where they will face tournament revelations Mexico.

A 1-1 draw with Nigeria in Bochum was enough to take the Mexicans into the knockout stages of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup for the first time in four attempts. That result left the Nigerians, the only African team still in the competition, in second place in Group C, consigning them to a daunting encounter with the Americans.

The stalemate in Bochum was bad news for a crestfallen Japan, who fell a point short in their bid to make the quarters. Natsuki Kishikawa was on target twice for the Youth Nadeshiko in their 3-1 defeat of fellow title candidates England, who depart Germany without having won a match. In the day’s other match, Ghana ended their first appearance at the competition with a comfortable win over Group D also-rans Switzerland.

Japan 3-1 England
Nigeria 1-1 Mexico
Korea Republic 0-1 USA
Ghana 2-0 Switzerland

Click on the links on the right for full reports on all these games.

Goal of the day
Nigeria 1-1 Mexico, Alina Garcia-Mendez 77
Trailing 1-0 to Nigeria with only 13 minutes remaining and with section rivals Japan well in control against England, Las Aztecas were seemingly on their way out of the tournament. Garcia-Mendez had other ideas, however, striking a dramatic volley to secure a point for the CONCACAF side and deliver them a long-awaited place in the last eight.

Memorable moment
Leroux on target again
The USA captain and goalscorer-in-chief stole the show once more against Korea Republic in Bielefeld, scoring the only goal of the game to help her side into the quarters as Group D winners. Leroux has now hit five of USA’s seven goals at Germany 2010. Kicking off with the equaliser against Ghana in their opening match, she followed up with a hat-trick in the 5-0 defeat of Switzerland and is just one goal behind Germany’s Alexandra Popp in the race for the adidas Golden Shoe.

The stat
3 -
The number of FIFA World Cup finals in which Nigerian forward Ebere Orji has scored. Making her debut at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup New Zealand 2008, she got on the scoresheet against Brazil and then found the back of the net three times at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008. Orji served notice of her goalscoring prowess once more against Mexico on Wednesday, snatching the goal that ultimately took the Falconets through to the last eight.

The next fixtures
Quarter-finals, Sunday 25 July
Mexico-Korea Republic

Have your say
Like Colombia and Sweden, Mexico will be making their first appearance in the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. How far do you think they can go at Germany 2010? Click on ‘Add your comment’ and share your views with other users around the globe.