The qualifying places in Group A of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2010 went to two sides who caught the eye with their attacking prowess and individual quality. Hosts Germany booked their quarter-final berth in imperious fashion, while Colombia were surprisingly good on their tournament debut. France were unable to build on their impressive showing at the UEFA European Women's U-19 Championship, which they won a few weeks ago. Costa Rica finished bottom of the table with no points.
A look back
Germany romped through the group thanks largely to their effectiveness in front of goal, which was much in evidence in the 4-2 opening defeat of Costa Rica and underlined by comfortable 3-1 and 4-1 victories over Colombia and France respectively. With six goals to her name already, striker Alexandra Popp has been particularly impressive. Yet coach Maren Meinert will not be happy that her players have conceded at least once in every game.
In an exciting finish to the group Colombia, making their tournament bow, sprang a surprise to climb above France with a 3-0 win over Costa Rica on the final day. The South Americans thrilled the crowds with their carefree and technically appealing brand of football, whereas Les Bleuettes looked fatigued after an eventful summer.
Lady Andrade turned everything on its head: Looking back, it is clear the decisive moment in the group occurred on the opening day. France were 1-0 up against Colombia in Bochum and seemingly on course to join Germany in the quarter-finals, as expected. But then, in the 86th minute, Lady Andrade took centre stage. Ana-Maria Montoya and Katerin Castro combined neatly on the left wing to leave two defenders floundering before teeing up the gifted No16, who stunned Les Bleuettes with a close-range equaliser. The draw eventually proved enough for Ricardo Rozo's hungry charges to edge out a France side that finished fourth at the 2008 World Cup.
The group in numbers
105 - the number of seconds Svenja Huth needed to fire Germany into the lead in the curtain-raiser against Costa Rica. It was a stand-out strike in two respects, as it not only ensured the competition started with a bang, but was also the fastest goal of the tournament so far.
"It's my way of playing football, the way I feel. I love dribbling and tricks. I just do it spontaneously," Colombia forward Lady Andrade in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com about her technically accomplished and spectacular style of play.