First-timers eye opening wins
Competitors in the Girls’ Youth Olympic Football Tournament Singapore 2010 will have the honour of being the first to commence competition among the 26 sports of the inaugural Youth Olympic Games. Squaring up in the tournament opener at Singapore 2010 are neighbouring Iran and Turkey, who will make history just by stepping on the field in this, their first-ever major international competition. The opening day’s second match pits Chile against Trinidad and Tobago, with the pair to meet again in next month’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, with the latter entertaining the South Americans as host nation.
Match of the Day
Chile V Trinidad and Tobago, Jalan Besar Stadium, Thursday 12 August, 20.45 (local time)
Chile are no strangers to international women’s football after their successfully hosting of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup two years ago, and then qualifying for September’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Coach Rodrigo Valdes has spent the past months moulding his talented crop into an attack-minded side. One of their more potent weapons is midfielder Montseratt Grau who scored 13 times in the recent warms-up including a hat-trick against a local U-17 side.
However their opponents are motivated to leave their mark at the U-15 level ahead of their tilt at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on home soil next month. For coach Marlon Charles, who has prepared his side through an exhaustive training camp, there are all kinds of possibilities in such a new competition. “This is a first-time competition for all participants so every team will have their chances,” he told FIFA.com. “Our girls have been working hard in the build-up and we are getting better in both technical and fitness terms.”
The other game
Turkey V Iran, Jalan Besar Stadium, Thursday 12 August, 18.00 (local time)
Iran, one of the most enigmatic sides in the six-team girls’ tournament, are in determined mood and have set their sights on reaching the semi-finals. To ensure they have a competitive side in Singapore, the team had a hectic ten-day camp in Thailand during which they played four friendlies, including a 3-1 win over a local side. However, they will be mindful of Turkey’s firepower after their 16-0 demolition of Georgia and a 5-0 win over Moldova 5-0 en route to Singapore 2010.
2 is the number of the foreign-based players Turkey boast, with goalkeeper Hulya Cin hailing from Germany’s Woerrstadt while playmaker Melisa Tosun struts her stuff with Bayer Leverkusen.
Did you know?
The Iranian squad are mostly former futsal players who only converted to eleven-a-side four months ago.
“As a player my aim is definitely to win the tournament gold and it would be great if I can help my side by scoring goals. My parents will be proud of that.” Montseratt Grau, Chile midfielder
“The main task for our players is to gain international experiences and I hope the tournament will lay the foundation for their development in the future.” Hamdi Aslan, Turkey head coach