Knockout stage in sight for star trio

3 Oct 2016

Having kicked off their Jordan 2016 campaigns with resounding victories, Japan and USA - two expected title contenders - can book their spots in the knockout stage with second successive wins. Brazil, too, could qualify early if they beat Korea DPR. But there are a host of hopefuls able and very willing to wreck this trio's perfect plans, not to mention several star players aiming to follow up on impressive opening-match showings. FIFA.com previews the Matchday 3 action.

Match of the day*Brazil-Korea DPR, Amman, 4 October (19.00 local time)*

The North Koreans might have expected to go into this match as Group C leaders, but instead it is their South American opponents who peer down from the section's summit. Luizao's Brazilian side proved in their 1-0 win over Nigeria that they have defensive discipline to match their traditional flair, and will again be a tough nut to crack.

But the Asian champions are a potent attacking unit and their speedy No14, Sung Hyang-Sim, was one of the most impressive strikers on show in the opening fixtures. All the same, the 2008 winners will need to eradicate the defensive errors that allowed England to snatch a 3-3 draw if they have ambitions of lifting the U-17 Women's World Cup trophy once again.

The other matchesNigeria go into their match against England under pressure, having slipped to the bottom of Group C by losing to Brazil. Coach Nikyu Bala spoke of his players being "frightened" in that match and they can ill afford another underwhelming showing, particularly against a Lionesses side who displayed skill, speed and spirit in equal measure in their high-scoring encounter with Korea DPR.

In Group D, meanwhile, Japan and USA will feel justifiably confident of making it through with a game to spare. The reigning champions were unstoppable in a scintillating first-half demolition of Ghana and boast a near-flawless record in group-stage encounters. BJ Snow's Stars & Stripes, for their part, came into their own in a dazzling second-half display against Paraguay and, with six goals already to their name, will be out to cement their position as Jordan 2016's joint-top scorers.

Player to watch*Civana Kuhlmann (USA) *Having become the first American to grab a U-17 Women's World Cup hat-trick, this quick and athletic striker will be out to narrow the gap on Jordan 2016's top scorer, Lorena Navarro (5). She is also closing in on another national record, with only two USA players - Vicki DiMartino (5) and Courtney Verloo (4), both stars of New Zealand 2008 - able to boast more goals at these U-17 finals. Besides her obvious scoring instinct, look out for Kulmann's intelligent exchanges and interchanging of positions with the Stars & Stripes other star forward, Ashley Sanchez.

The stat49-0 - Cover your eyes now, Paraguay, but Japan have racked up 49 goals and conceded none in their last nine group-stage matches at the U-17 Women's World Cup. It is over six years since Spain became the last team to score against the Little Nadeshiko in the opening round, and their subsequent run of clean sheets has been strung together while averaging 5.4 goals-a-game at the other end. The Paraguayans might be buoyed having found the net twice when the teams met in the first round of the inaugural edition in 2008. Then again, Japan did manage seven in reply.

The words"Nothing is decided yet. Yes, we suffered a bad defeat. But I can promise you: we will come back. And we will come back stronger. We will win against USA." Evans Adotey, Ghana coach

Match schedule*Group C *Nigeria-England 16.00 (Prince Mohammed International Stadium, Al Zarqa) Brazil-Korea DPR, 19.00 (Prince Mohammed International Stadium, Al Zarqa)

Group D USA-Ghana, 16.00 (King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman) Paraguay-Japan, 19.00 (King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman)

All times local