Brazil dominate again, Paraguay back on big stage
Brazil win eighth straight continental U-20 Women's title
Paraguay finish runners-up to qualify for U-20 Women's World Cup for a second time
Geyse named player of the tournament
Brazil booked their place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 in style, winning all their matches at the South American Championships in the age group, held in Ecuador. Joining the Brazilians in France are tournament runners-up Paraguay.
Colombia and Venezuela were the other sides to make it to the four-team final round, but missed out on a place at the world finals after finishing third and fourth respectively.
Pitch perfect It came as no surprise to see A Canarinha lift the title. The Brazilians are so dominant on the South American U-20 women’s scene that they have won all eight continental championships held to date.
What caught the eye in this latest triumph was that the Brazilians won all their games. They underlined their superiority by overwhelming Paraguay 8-1 in the final match, one that La Albirroja went into with serious designs on the title, having also won all their previous games.
Did you know?
Brazil won all seven of their matches
Highest-scoring team with 30 goals, an average of 4.28 per match
Conceded the fewest goals, just one, in their last match
Geyse named player of the tournament after top-scoring with 12 goals, five of them coming in that last game
Brazil also won the Fair Play Award
"Right from the moment we started training, we worked hard to ensure we wouldn’t let in a single goal," said Brazil keeper Kemelli, summing up the determination of Doriva Bueno's side. "We conceded one in the final game, but I think we did a good job and showed the potential we have."
Paraguay rewarded for consistency Aside from that heavy defeat to the Brazilians, Paraguay proved they are a force to be reckoned with, not least up front, where Jessica Martinez helped herself to seven goals and Fabiola Sandoval to five.
"Brazil are a great side and we’re not going to let our heads drop because of that last defeat; anything but. This is going to make us stronger and prepare us for France," said Albirroja coach Epifania Benitez after a tournament that saw Paraguay reach the U-20 Women’s World Cup for a second time, their debut having come in 2014.
Did you know?
La Albirroja scored an average of 3.57 goals per game
The Paraguayans won six of their seven matches, all of them by two goals or more
Two of those wins came against Colombia
Elsewhere For the third time running, Colombia came home third to just miss out on a place at the world finals. The performance of striker Angie Castaneda, second in the scoring charts with ten goals, gives them cause for optimism however.
Deyna Castellanos and Venezuela were far from happy with their fourth place, which prompted The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2017 nominee to tweet: "I’d like to apologise for not achieving the goal of reaching the World Cup."
Of the other sides, Chile have reason to be most pleased with their efforts, after scoring two wins in the group phase and falling just a point short of a place in the final phase.
The stat 5 - The number of times that Brazil have won all their matches en route to the title, in the eight South American Championships held to date. This is the first time they have achieved the feat since 2012. The Brazilians have yet to lose a match in the competition, winning 39 and drawing the remaining five of the 44 games they have played.