With everything still to play for in Groups C and D, excitement is all but guaranteed on the sixth and final day of group matches at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016. While all eight teams have at least a theoretical chance of reaching the quarter-finals, an early exit for Japan or progress for Paraguay from Group D would be a huge shock. Although the world’s attention will no doubt turn to the showdown between the Little Nadeshiko and USA, the excitement in Group C will be tough to beat. FIFA.com looks ahead to today’s games.
Match of the day
Japan-USA, Amman International Stadium, 8 October (19.00 local time)
Group C plays host to women’s football’s clash of the titans as the finalists of the past two FIFA Women’s World Cups™ in Canada 2015 and Germany 2011 meet at U-17 level. The last game in Group D will certainly feel like a cup final for the US, who will need to win to progress if Ghana defeat Paraguay as expected. In contrast, it will take a remarkable series of events to prevent Japan from reaching the knockout stages.
The defending champions have made an impressive start to their campaign in Jordan defeating both Ghana and Paraguay comfortably, while giving their opponents barely a sniff of goal. Meanwhile the Stars and Stripes will be keen to prevent another group-stage elimination after suffering the same fate at Azerbaijan 2012.
The other matches
While few would have reckoned on a comeback for Ghana after they followed up a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Japan by then falling behind early against USA, the African side somehow turned things around against their North American rivals and now have a good chance of progressing from Group D if they beat Paraguay.
Everything is possible and nothing is impossible in Group C. Despite currently languishing in fourth place, Nigeria could leap to the top of their group with a win against current frontrunners Korea DPR. Conversely, the North Koreans’ Jordanian adventure could still come to a sudden halt – but the Flamingoes will need to end their goalscoring drought and net their first strike of the tournament if they are to have any chance of progressing.
If Nigeria manage to beat Korea DPR, Brazil’s match against England will become an all-or-nothing tie for both sides. Irrespective of other results, only a win will be enough to ensure a quarter-final place at Jordan 2016 for the Young Three Lionesses, who have drawn both of their games so far. Defeat in their last match against the North Koreans means Brazil must aim for victory to be sure of reaching the last eight and fans can look forward to a lively encounter.
Player to watch
Despite scoring the South Americans’ only goal of the tournament so far, the Brazilian playmaker was substituted early in the second half of her team’s most recent 1-0 loss to Korea DPR. Her concerned coach Luizao later revealed in a press conference that his No10 had picked up a knock and may not be 100 per cent fit for the next game. Brazil will need to be on top form against England and will be hoping Micaelly can be a decisive factor in the match. Can this creative star recover in time to make a difference?
0 – Paraguay’s tally for the tournament so far stands at zero points and a goal difference of minus ten. Nevertheless, number crunchers will already be aware that there is still a glimmer of hope for them in Group C. The Maidens can still reach the quarter-finals if they make up 15 goals on USA and the Stars and Stripes fail to pick up a point against Japan. While this is likely to be a tall order for a South American side who have scored just eight goals while conceding 45 in three previous tournament appearances, everyone knows that footballing miracles can and do happen!
"We simply mustn’t go out in the group stages. If you look at our squad and the quality of our players, it’s clear that we have to reach the quarter-finals. We came here with the aim of improving on our performance in Costa Rica two years ago and that has not changed."
Nigeria coach Nikyu Bala
Korea DPR-Nigeria, 16.00 (Amman International Stadium, Amman)
Brazil-England, 16.00 (Al Hassan International Stadium, Irbid)
Japan-USA, 19.00 (Amman International Stadium, Amman)
Paraguay-Ghana, 19.00 (Al Hassan International Stadium, Irbid)
All times local