Host nation Germany got their FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010 campaign off to a winning start with a 4-2 victory over Costa Rica who were making their debut appearance in the competition.
Maren Meinert's team, who are expected to pose a formidable challenge at their own event, had the bonus of a goal right at the start of the Group A contest to delight their fans who made up the majority of the sell-out crowd in Bochum and helped create a great atmosphere. Following a 2nd minute free-kick, goalkeeper Priscilla Tapia could only parry the ball and Svenja Huth was on hand to score.
Alexandra Popp made it 2-0 after Kim Kulig set her up and she might have scored again before the interval only to send her header over. In added time at the end of the half Carolina Venegas reduced the arrears for the Central Americans.
The second half began at a slower pace but the Germans were soon back in control with Popp scoring her second goal. Their dominance increased four minutes later as Marina Hegering got in on the goal-scoring act.
Kulig also struck the woodwork as the home team went in search of further goals. But the last word went to Costa Rica who scored from the penalty spot through Katherine Alvarado after Bianca Schmidt was shown a red card for a professional foul. Co-incidentally the Germany-Costa Rica game which launched the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ also ended in a 4-2 triumph for the hosts.
Germany will next face Colombia in Group A on Friday while, in the same Bochum venue, Costa Rica will be looking for their first win as they take on France.