Mexico and Canada book historic semi spots

  • Mexico knock out Ghana on penalties

  • Canada overcome Germany in tight encounter

  • Both teams advance to semi-finals for first time

THE DAY REPLAYED – Mexico and Canada enjoyed an evening to remember at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018 on Sunday, eliminating the highly-fancied pair of Ghana and Germany, and qualifying for the last four of the tournament for the first time ever.

Results Quarter-finals Ghana 2–2 (2-4 on penalties) Mexico Germany 0–1 Canada

Memorable moments Sign of greatness: Before openly celebrating their historic qualification for the semi-finals of Uruguay 2018, both the Mexican and Canadian players respectively made their way over to their Ghanaian and German opponents to offer them words of consolation – proof that winning and fair play are not mutually exclusive.

CONCACAF on the charge: With Mexico and Canada facing each other in one of Wednesday’s semi-finals, the tournament is now sure to have a CONCACAF representative in the final, for just the second time. The first team from the region to achieve this feat was USA in the inaugural edition of the U-17 World Cup in 2008. In fact, no CONCACAF side had advanced to the final four of the competition since then.

Penalties prevalent: With three shootouts, Uruguay 2018 has already seen more matches decided by penalties than any other previous U-17 Women’s World Cup. New Zealand 2008, Trinidad and Tobago 2010, Azerbaijan 2012 and Costa Rica 2014 only featured two, while there was only one at Jordan 2016.

Support from the stands: The German players took their time leaving Montevideo’s Estadio Charrua following their elimination at the hands of Canada, but they still managed to steal the hearts of the large numbers of fans who had turned up to cheer them on. To lift their spirits, the supporters chanted the names of every single German squad member.

Goalscorer’s goodbye: Ghana’s defeat also marked the end of the road for Mukarama Abdulai, the tournament’s leading scorer with seven goals. The free-scoring forward found the net in all four of the Black Maidens’ matches and looks likely to secure the adidas Golden Boot, although her closest pursuer, Spain’s Claudia Pina, who lies three goals back, still has two games in which to cut the gap.

The words “My players played like Mexicans today. They played with pride and passion, just like all the other Mexico teams – male or female." Mexico coach Monica Vergara

“The girls have done really well, from the start of the tournament until now. I feel so proud and happy on their behalf. I consoled them and told them that we have a bright future ahead of us." Ghana coach Evans Adotey

Up next: semi-finals (all times local) Wednesday 28 November

New Zealand-Spain, Montevideo (16.00) Mexico-Canada, Montevideo (19.00)

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