Spain claim revenge as Deyna dazzles again
THE DAY REPLAYED – For the second edition running, Venezuela and Spain are through to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup semi-finals. The duo's berths in the last four were secured with identical 2-1 victories that left the winners of Group A and B, Mexico and Germany respectively, heading for home.
For La Rojita, their hard-fought win represented the sweetest of revenge against a team that pipped them to the European title earlier this year, and kept alive hopes of repeating their run to the 2014 final. Venezuela, meanwhile, were once again indebted to their captain and talisman, Deyna Castellanos, who scored twice to inspire a stirring comeback against El Tri.
With five goals in four appearances at Jordan 2016, the U-17 Women's World Cup's all-time top scorer is now also the joint-leading markswoman at this edition. The seemingly impossible job of stopping her now will now fall to either Korea DPR or Ghana, while Spain could face another final rematch against holders Japan or one more all-European showdown, this time with England.
FIFA.com looks back on the first of the Jordan 2016 quarter-finals.
Results Mexico 1-2 Venezuela Germany 1-2 Spain
Goal of the day*Mexico-Venezuela, Deyna Castellanos, 35 This section is fast becoming Castellanos' private property and, again, she made it impossible to look elsewhere. Responding immediately to her team losing a goal has become a speciality of the Venezuela captain - think of that stunning winner direct from the re-start against Cameroon - and once more she led by example as only she can. Just seconds after watching her team fall behind, Castellanos raced forward in the left channel, controlled a pass from Yerliane Moreno, jinked inside past her marker and cracked a ferocious right-foot drive into the far corner of the net. It was in the same stadium, in the same goal, as the strike from halfway that broke Cameroonian hearts, and proved every bit as vital to the Vinotinto *cause.
Memorable moments Slow burner sparked to life It is said that good things come to those who wait, and that certainly proved to be the case for fans seeking excitement in Amman's early kick-off. The first half-hour was, in truth, as forgettable as any we have seen at these finals. But the patience of the fans who persevered was rewarded with a stunning seven-minute period of excitement, opportunities and a glut of goals. No-one will be surprised to learn that it was Castellanos who lit the touch-paper with a couple of long-range efforts well saved by Miriam Aguirre. And having started this all-too-brief flurry of activity, the Venezuela No9 capped it off too, responding to Jazmin Enrigue's fortuitous opener by scoring the brace that settled the outcome.
Sister act spurs Spain Twins Noelia and Natalia Ramos spoke to ahead of Spain's rematch with Germany, with the former warning the European champions that they planned to go "all out". The sisters proved true to their word, combining early to give La Rojita a platform from which a momentous victory was secured. Defender Natalia led the way, breaking the deadlock after nine minutes with a fine looping header. However, the lead one Ramos established would have been erased within six minutes had the other, Noelia, not produced a superb instinctive save to thwart Janine Minge. The Spain goalkeeper then went on to earn a richly deserved player of the match award with a string of tremendous stops in a one-sided second half dominated by the Germans.
Keepy-uppy queen With Castellanos, her goals - which come so often, and so spectacularly - are an inevitable focal point. But today's win over Mexico also provided a reminder that they represent just a fraction of the Venezuela talisman's appeal. As well as a goalscorer, after all, Castellanos is also an entertainer, and it was her party tricks against El Tri that had the crowd in raptures. In the second half, she dazzled with a delightful dragback that deceived two markers. But the highlight had arrived earlier, when she indulged in an audacious display of keepy-uppy to work her way out of a tight, seemingly inescapable space, lifting the ball over her head and taking a few more perfect touches before laying off a perfect pass. The stat 148- After two frustrating, goalless matches, both of which saw her substituted early, Lorena Navarro - the early pacesetter in Jordan 2016's top scorer race - tonight found herself on the bench. Navarro struck five times in the space of 73 minutes in Spain's opening match, but had since gone 148 without finding the net, prompting Maria Is to make a bold change. But if the Rojita coach's switch represented a gamble, it paid off handsomely, with her new-look frontline sparkling and another Navarro - Eva - grabbing their all-important second goal.
The words "Our loss was unfair. We missed lot of opportunities, while Spain scored their goals from just two-and-a-half chances. It is unfortunate that we will leave the tournament as I feel we deserved something more." Anouschka Bernhard, Germany coach Next matchdayThursday 13 October (all times local)
Quarter-finals Korea DPR-Ghana, 16.00 Japan-England, 19.00