There is plenty on the line in the first set of FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Jordan 2016 group finales. Spain and Mexico, the only two teams already through to the last 16, lock horns with designs on top spot in Group A, while the hosts and New Zealand will each be hoping to bow out with their heads held high. In Group B, meanwhile, three teams will be battling for two tickets to the next round. FIFA.compreviews the action.
Match of the dayCanada-Venezuela, King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman, 7 October (19:00 local time)
This is a mouth-watering, high-stakes encounter between two quality teams with little to choose between them, at least based on the evidence of their first two games. Canada thrilled the crowd by fighting back from 2-1 down to triumph 3-2 in their opener against Cameroon and then followed that up with a 1-1 draw with Germany. These results have left the Canucks in the driving seat – a point would be enough to seal qualification – but they will be wary of the threat posed by the Venezuelans, who beat them 3-2 in the quarter-finals at Costa Rica 2014.
Venezuela, for their part, bounced back from a 2-1 opening loss to Germany by overcoming Cameroon by the same scoreline. These three points kept alive the South Americans' dream of advancing from the group and equalling – or bettering – their exploits at the last edition, when they finished fourth. However, only a win will do if they are to make it through, and so they can be expected to attack from the off.
The other matchesAlso in Group B, Germany know that they can take nothing for granted against Cameroon, even though the Africans cannot progress after two opening defeats. The Germans are sure to be gunning for victory with the aim of claiming first place.
Over in Group A, Spain and Mexico have both booked their berths in the Round of 16, but there is the small matter of top spot to settle. Both teams have showcased impressive firepower and tactical maturity to date, so just who will prevail is anyone's guess.
Jordan and New Zealand, on the other hand, are both out of contention, having lost each of their matches so far. However, the home team are desperate to go out with a bang by giving the local fans something to shout about, while the Oceania champions are eager to head home on a high note.
Player to watchDeyna Castellanos (Venezuela)
The Venezuela captain caused a real stir with her historic winner against Cameroon. Not only did her strike secure three priceless points for her country, but it also made her the joint-leading scorer in U-17 Women's World Cup history alongside Korea Republic's Yeo Minji and Korea DPR's Ri Un-Sim. As such, Castellanos has some added motivation – as if she needed it – to claim the record by closing out the group stage with a goal or two.
The stat69 –The total number of shots, 23 of which hit the target, taken by Spain across their meetings with Jordan and New Zealand - the most of any team at the tournament. Mexico lie second in the standings with 51 attempts, of which 22 have been on the mark. An abundance of attacking action therefore appears to be guaranteed when the two countries go head-to-head.
The words"We're ready to face Spain. They're tough opponents, but we know how to take them on. We've got a game plan to beat them based on attacking down the flanks and getting lots of crosses into the box."
Mexico player Jacqueline Ovalle
Match schedule*Group A
*Jordan-New Zealand, 16.00, October 7 (Prince Mohammed International Stadium, Zarqa)
Spain-Mexico, 16.00, October 7 (King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman)
*Canada-Venezuela, 19.00, October 7 (King Abdullah II Stadium, Amman)
Germany-Cameroon, 19.00, October 7 (Prince Mohammed International Stadium, Zarqa)
All times local