What Monica Ocampo and Veronica Charlyn Corral lack in physical stature they more than make up for with their prodigious talent. Switzerland's hapless defenders will certainly attest to that, having being run ragged by the diminutive duo at Moscow's Dynamo stadium on Friday.
"I thought it was going to be a much more difficult game," Ocampo admitted to FIFA.com after her side had completed a 4-2 win over the Swiss . "All our hard work at the training camp before the tournament really helped us, though, and despite going a goal down we never let our heads drop. It was a good win and now we can start thinking about Germany."
Her strike partner echoed those sentiments, saying: "It was really important to win our first game. It will settle our nerves and help us relax. We've taken a big step, but we know the toughest challenges are yet to come."
Those challenges include a meeting with reigning champions Germany, who slipped to a shock defeat in their opener against Korea DPR. With the Germans sure to be fired up to avoid an embarrassing first round exit, Ocampo realises that she and her team-mates will require to raise their game. "We have to match our performance against Switzerland or better it if we can," she said. "All the same, I think we can win."
Corral, meanwhile, who at 14 is four years Ocampo's junior, showed the exuberance of youth in her own confident prediction: "It's bound to be tough, but that will motivate us. It would be great to say we knocked out the world champions and there's no reason to be scared. We need to go out and play with the same determination and enthusiasm, and iron out our mistakes while we've still got time. It would be wonderful to win. It would give us a real boost."
Blessed with remarkably similar physiques and styles of play, it is sometimes hard to tell the pint-sized duo apart. Not surprisingly, the two have also built up a telepathic understanding, as Corral explains: "We've got more or less the same style and we learn from each other. We've also worked extremely hard on communicating with each other. We're both very skilful and that makes our partnership even more dangerous."
"We've been preparing for the World Championship for two months now and that's made us sharper," explained Ocampo, who plays for Gacelas Univac in the Mexican league, and began playing for boys' teams before catching the eye of the national coaches. "It was tough to begin with because we played in different teams and we weren't familiar with each other's games. We worked on that in training, though, and the results are there for all to see on the pitch."
Corral the record-breaker
Using their speed, physical strength and captivating ball skills to unsettle defenders, the two penalty-box predators are indebted to the Mexico coaching staff for the intensive training programmes that have helped them fulfil their potential.
"We put everything into training and we're reaping the benefits on the pitch," said Ocampo, undoubtedly the more reserved of the two. "The boss tells us to go out and enjoy ourselves when we play and that's exactly what we do," added the bubbly Corral, an ardent admirer of one Diego Maradona.
Corral first kicked a ball around when she was five, and by the age of 11 she was attracting the attention of scouts the length and breadth of the country. Now at the tender age of 14 years and 11 months, the precocious sharpshooter could well become the star of her first-ever FIFA World Championship. Whatever she goes on to achieve in Russia, Corral has already rewritten the history books by grabbing her side's opener against the Swiss to become the youngest-ever goalscorer in the three editions of this competition.
"It's just a dream to be here at my age," she grinned. "I've always dreamt of playing in a world championship but I didn't expect to get here so soon. My team-mates have really helped me.
"I feel great here and I'm not even missing home," she added, much to the amusement of her fellow forward, who revealed that Corral is being treated like everyone's little sister at the Mexico camp.
United in their dream of one day playing abroad, the ambitious duo also have high hopes of becoming world champions. "I hope this isn't our last world championship," said Ocampo, whose footballing heroes are Paraguay's Saturnino Cardozo and the inimitable Ronaldinho. Unsurprisingly, however, Corral is setting her sights even higher: "I want to win the Women's World Cup and be top scorer too," she declared without a hint of doubt in her voice.
For now though, everyone in the high-flying Mexicans' camp is content to take each game as it comes - everyone save for the irrepressible Corral, that is. "We worked very hard before coming here and our time has come," she vowed. Defenders of the world, you have been warned.