Brazil
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The past
The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup has generally been good to Brazil. The team has qualified for every edition of the tournament, finishing fourth in 2002 and 2004 before coming third in 2006. However, they were not so lucky in 2008, losing 3-2 in the quarter-finals to a German side that went on to finish third, and were knocked out in the the first phase in 2010, losing 1-0 to Korea DPR in their opening game before drawing 1-1 with Sweden. A 4-1 victory over New Zealand in the team’s last match was not enough to avoid elimination. Then in the last World Cup, in 2012 in Japan, Brazil were once again eliminated in the first phase, after drawing with Italy and Nigeria and losing to Korea Republic.

The present
Brazil travel to Canada as South American champions for the sixth time. The country’s dominance in the region was confirmed with a win over Paraguay in the final, meaning that Brazil have now won every edition of the continental tournament at this level. A penalty from Andressa opened the scoring 35 minutes into the first half after Ludmila was brought down in the area. In the second half, it was Ludmila’s turn to score when the striker received the ball from Andressa, dribbled past two defenders and slipped a shot past the keeper. Brazil finished the tournament with six wins and a draw. “We played well in every game and got the results we wanted. We deserved our title and to qualify for the World Cup,” said striker Patricia Sochor.

The future
The U-20s has always been a good testing ground for players hoping to earn a place in the senior squad. A recent example is Darlene, who played for the U-20s in 2007, 2009 and 2010, before making her debut for the senior Brazil side against Chile in the Brasilia International Tournament in December 2013.