FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014
15 March - 4 April

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014™

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

Final Tournament Standing

About

A victory for women's football

Japan took the honours at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014, a 21-day competition that proved to be one big party for the host nation. The Little Nadeshiko saw off Spain in a superb final that set the seal on a memorable tournament.

The two sides were fitting finalists, having played the most skilful and entertaining football of the 16 participating nations, providing proof of just how rewarding long-term projects founded on solid, targeted development programmes can be.

The unstoppable Japanese combined technical brilliance with tactical discipline, attracting admiration for their attacking power, defensive solidity and the speed of their play. Not only were they the competition’s highest scorers, they also conceded fewer goals than anyone.

Playing some patient and solid football, runners-up Spain showed how much their game is progressing and can take satisfaction from the fact that the only side that could beat them were the tournament winners.

The surprise packages of Costa Rica 2014 were Venezuela, whose unexpected success in finishing fourth was based on the merits of a talented and physically powerful squad that gelled into an effective unit despite their relatively short preparations.

“Japan’s battle is to become world champions, whereas ours is to qualify for world finals from the CONMEBOL zone.” That was Vinotinto coach Kenneth Zseremeta’s frank analysis of the difference in the level and overall objectives of his side and the tournament winners. In spite of that gap, the South American outsiders raised their game at Costa Rica 2014 and narrowly missed out on a podium spot in a thrilling match for third place against Italy.

One of two newcomers to the competition along with Zambia, the Italians can take great heart from finishing third, the nation’s best ever performance in a FIFA Women’s World Cup competition.

Achievements and future goals The first Central American country to host a World Cup, Costa Rica can take pride from what it has achieved over the last three weeks, with the tournament’s 32 matches attracting a total of 284,320 spectators, a new attendance record for the competition.

The local fans got behind their side and Tica revelation and captain Gloriana Villalobos in particular. Skilful on the ball, the immensely talented Villalobos thrilled her compatriots, though her compelling performances could not prevent the hosts from exiting the group phase without recording a win.

Development is now the name of the game for Costa Rica, as it is for Paraguay and Colombia, two other Latin American sides who also finished bottom of their groups, an indication that the region’s teams need to put well-structured programmes in place if they are to match the standards set by the teams of Asia and Europe. Mexico nevertheless took a step in the right direction by forcing their way into the last eight.

Unexpected exits and major breakthroughs The biggest surprises of the competition came in the first round with the shock exits of European champions Germany and Asian powerhouses Korea DPR, two powerful sides who had been expected to advance from Group B but were edged out by Ghana and Canada.

Costa Rica 2014 also saw the emergence of some exciting new talents, with Japanese wizards Hina Sugita and Yui Hasegawa leading the way alongside Venezuela’s insatiable strike duo Deyna Castellanos and Gabriela Garcia. Italy’s Gloria Marinelli also made quite an impact, as did her team-mate Manuela Giugliano and Spain’s Nahikari Garcia, who impressed with her all-round maturity.

For the vast majority of these players, the tournament provided a first taste of major international competition. The experience is sure to stand them in good stead for the future and help them kick on with their careers, which could well see them become the standard bearers of women’s football in the years ahead.

MATCHES

Tournament News

Hina Sugita of Japan battles with Nuria Garrote of Spain during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final between Japan and Spain at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Yui Hasegawa #8 of Japan and Rocio Galvez #5 of Spain battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 final match between Japan and Spain at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Meika Nishida #11 of Japan celebrate with her tem mats after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 final match between Japan and Spain at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Fuka Nagano of Japan battles with Sandra Hernandez of Spain during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Final between Japan and Spain at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Gabriela Garcia of Venuzuela battles with Federica Cavicchia of Italy during the FIFA U-17 World Cup 3rd Place Playoff game between Venezuela and Italy at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Tahicelis Marcano of Venuzuela celebrates her goal with team mates during the FIFA U-17 World Cup 3rd Place Playoff game between Venezuela and Italy at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Team members of Venezuela celebrate their equalizing goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 3rd place play off match between Venezuela and Italy at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Team members of Venezuela celebrate their equalizing goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 3rd place play off match between Venezuela and Italy at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Patri Guijarro of Spain celebrates her goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Coach of Spain Jorge Vilda looks on during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Onyinyechukwu Okeke of Nigeria saves at the feet of Andrea Falcon of Spain during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Andrea Falcon of Spain battles with Esther Elijah of Nigeria during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - MARCH 27: Team members of Italy celebrate their 1st goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - MARCH 27: Sandra Owusu Ansah (L) of Ghana and Federica Cavicchia (R) of Italy battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - MARCH 27: Samira Abdul Rahman #4 of Ghana and Manuela Giugliano #10 of Italy battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Gloria Marinelli #11 of Italy celebr with her team mates after scoring during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 quarter final match between Ghana and Italy at Estadio Nacional on March 27, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LIBERIA, COSTA RICA - MARCH 27:  Yui Hasegawa of Japan beats Emily Alvarado of Mexico to score her goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Japan and Mexico at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
LIBERIA, COSTA RICA - MARCH 27:  Rikako Kobayashi battls with Venessa Flores of Mexico during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Japan and Mexico at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
 Rikako Kobayashi battls with Eva Gonzalez of Mexico
Hina Sugita of Japan celebrates her goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Japan and Mexico at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Tournament News

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - APRIL 04:  Sandra Luzardo of Venuzuela battles with Flaminia Simionetti of Italy during the FIFA U-17 World Cup 3rd Place Playoff game between Venezuela and Italy at Estadio Nacional on April 4, 2014 in San Jose, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

Incredible third place match

5 Mar 2015

Nana Ichise of Japan battles with Gabriela Garcia of Venezuela during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Semi Final match between Venezuela and Japan at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 31, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

Japanese teens too good for Venezuelans

4 Mar 2015

Martina Piemonte (L) of Italy and Nuria Garrote of Spain battle for the ball during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 semi final match between Italy and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 31, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

Spanish penalty joy against Italians

4 Mar 2015

ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA - MARCH 22: Deyna Castellanos of Venezuela celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2014 group A match between Korea DPR and Germanyat Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank on March 22, 2014 in Alajuela, Costa Rica. (Photo by Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

All smiles as Venezuelans prove too strong

4 Mar 2015

Laura Dominguez of Spain battles with Esther Elijah of Nigeria during the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Spain at Edgardo Baltodano Briceno on March 27, 2014 in Liberia, Costa Rica.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Costa Rica 2014

Spanish speed torments Nigerians

3 Mar 2015