THE DAY REPLAYED – The case is often made that football is exclusively played in the moment out on the pitch, and that the form book and statistics therefore go out of the window once the first whistle is blown. Nevertheless, sometimes it is clear that reputation and the weight of history do indeed have a role. Ghana and Nigeria provided evidence of this effect in their respective losses to big-name opposition in the shape of holders Japan and Brazil, the birthplace of jogo bonito.
Indeed, the name Brazil is frequently synonymous with brilliance in this sport and that proved the case in more than one way this matchday, with England attacker Ellie Brazil on the scoresheet in her country's thrilling draw with former champions Korea DPR. As for Paraguay, they took on USA – another women's football powerhouse – at the tournament for the second time and were victims of history repeating itself eight years on, having also been soundly beaten by the Americans in the group stage at New Zealand 2008.
Nigeria 0-1 Brazil
England 3-3 Korea DPR
Ghana 0-5 Japan
USA 6-1 Paraguay
Goal of the day
Ghana 0-4 Japan, Saori Takarada 26
Some 21 minutes in and this game was all but over as a contest, with Japan having raced into a 3-0 lead. But the best was to come a few minutes later. Following a spell of patient passing, Riko Ueki latched on to the ball up the right wing, burst past one attempted challenge and then produced a sublime drop of the shoulder to leave another defender in her wake, before floating a cross into the middle of the box. There, arriving like a steam train, was Saori Takarada, who sent a crashing header high into the net. It was a fine finish to a trademark flowing move from the Little Nadeshiko.
Jubilant entrance, downcast departure
It took the Paraguayans almost an hour to get from their hotel in Amman to the Prince Mohammed International Stadium in Zarqa. Las Albirrojas passed the time on the journey by belting out a mix of traditional songs, motivational anthems and personal creations, all orchestrated by their captain, Jessica Martinez. They were still singing when they arrived at the venue and a few minutes before taking to the pitch. However, their return trip was substantially more muted after they shipped six goals against USA, including a hat-trick from the irrepressible Civana Kuhlmann.
The power of the huddle
We know that you, dear readers, are football fans because you are on FIFA.com. However, those of you who also follow rugby may know all about the pre-game huddle and what it signifies in the UK. So it was that the members of England's starting line-up gathered around and put their hands together before kick-off in their opener, a gesture that was soon replicated by their North Korean opponents, substitutes included. The two teams then proceeded to trade blows for 90 minutes before eventually sharing both the spoils and a 'fair-play huddle' in which all 22 players congratulated one another.
Japan learn their lesson
The Japanese have only ever lost two matches in the history of this competition, one of which came at the hands of Ghana in the Azerbaijan 2012 quarter-finals. Back then, the Little Nadeshiko were already playing the brand of football that would take them to the top of the world two years later, but they were overpowered and outfought by the aggressive Ghanaians. Four years on, Japan did not let lightning strike twice and showcased the ruthless streak that they have added to their stylish play.
When sweeper-keeping goes wrong
Nigeria carved out plenty of opportunities against Brazil, but Auriverdes goalkeeper Kemelli pulled off a host of decisive saves between the sticks. Her Flamingos counterpart, Chiamaka Nnadozie, enjoyed less luck when venturing outside her area to tackle Ana Vitoria, succeeding only in presenting the ball straight to Micaelly. The Brazilian playmaker seized gleefully on this gift, conjuring up an exquisite chip to earn her side victory.
500 – Georgia Stanway's effort to make it 2-1 to England against Korea DPR was the 30th goal at Jordan 2016 and the 500th in FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup history. New Zealand 2008 witnessed 113 goals, while there were 125 scored at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, 119 registered at Azerbaijan 2012 and 113 at Costa Rica 2014.
"Because of the name that Brazil has in football, I think my players were frightened and didn't settle to play the way we know they can. Against another team, I'm sure they would have relaxed more and played better."
Nigeria coach Nikyu Bala
Monday 3 October
Spain-New Zealand (16.00, Irbid)
Jordan-Mexico (19.00, Irbid)
Venezuela-Cameroon (16.00, Amman)
Germany-Canada (19.00, Amman)
All times local