An Adriana Leon hat-trick inspired Canada to a 6-0 win over Argentina in their Group C opener at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The South Americans actually began the game impressively in Kobe, with Betina Soriano rattling the crossbar, but the pendulum swung heavily in the North Americans’ favour on seven minutes. Agustina Barroso was shown a red card for a foul inside the box, and Shelina Zadorsky made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

Jaclyn Sawicki doubled the advantage on 20 minutes, before her superb passes enabled Leon to net twice as Canada raced into a 4-0 lead. Leon then completed her treble on the stroke of half-time and, with her team cruising, was given an early rest.

With the result all but settled, the second half was largely uneventful, with Jade Kovacevic’s cross allowing Catherine Charron Delage to head home its only goal.

It completed a 6-0 victory that added hype to Canada’s forthcoming meeting with Korea DPR, who beat Norway 4-2 earlier on Monday.

“Now I have to work on the mental side with my players more than on the tactics,” said Argentina coach Jose Carlos Borrello. “I always tell them that the head is the most important. It's the head that decides if the legs play well or not.”