THE DAY REPLAYED - The two teams who will contest the final of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2010 became clear after Thursday's two semi-finals. While hosts Germany won the first with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Korea Republic, Nigeria were made to sweat during a close-fought 1-0 success against Colombia.
As in Saturday's quarter-final win over Korea DPR, Maren Meinert's German outfit again turned on the fireworks against Asian opponents, all but sewing up their place in Sunday's showdown within the opening half hour. A goal from Svenja Huth and two from Kim Kulig had given the last remaining European side a comfortable lead at the midway point, before a double within the first three minutes of the second period from the tournament's top scorer Alexandra Popp rounded off a memorable performance.
The 19-year-old Popp was once again in red-hot form as she bumped her tally up to nine goals in five matches, although the race for the adidas Golden Boot is far from over. Korea Republic starlet Ji So-Yun, whose seventh of the tournament proved scant consolation for the AFC outfit, could still catch up in the match for third place.
The second semi-final between Nigeria and Colombia was a far tenser affair. The match got off to an extraordinary start when the Africans took the lead just two minutes in, but Ndem Egan's charges were forced to endure wave after wave of South American attacks as the match wore on. However, the Falconets held on to continue their magnificent run at Germany 2010 and become the first African team to reach the final of a FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
Semi-final resultsGermany 5-1 Korea Republic
Colombia 0-1 Nigeria
Click on the links on the right for full reports on all these games.
Goal of the dayGermany 5-1 Korea Republic, Ji So Yun, 67 mins
With over an hour gone and the scoreline reading 4-0 in favour of the Germans, the South Koreans were down and out. Yet the Asian attacking marvel still found inspiration to net a superb consolation. Following a misplaced pass from Kristina Gessat, the 19-year-old received the ball around 25 metres from goal before embarking on a spectacular solo run which took her past three defenders and culminated in a curling effort that left Germany goalkeeper Almuth Schult with no chance. It was a goal which again underlined the quality of the Korean No10.
Memorable momentsSwimming celebration*
*The Germany players had clearly spent time thinking about how they would celebrate their opening goal. When Huth put the hosts in front, the majority of the team ran towards the dugout and began mimicking swimming exercises, much to the amusement - and bafflement - of the Bochum crowd.
*Fans at the Bielefeld World Cup Stadium had barely found their seats when the net rippled for the game's opening goal. With less than a minute and a half gone, Nigeria captain Joy Jegede sent a long, searching ball forward. The ball bounced awkwardly over Colombian goalkeeper Paula Forero and rebounded off the crossbar. Ebere Orji was the first to react, tucking home what proved to be the decisive goal.
The stat0 - Colombia failed to score for the first time in five matches at Germany 2010 when they bowed out in the last four against Nigeria.
The next gamesMatch for third place, Sunday, 1 August, 12.00 (local time) *
*Korea Republic - Colombia
Final, Sunday, 1 August, 15.00 (local time) *
*Germany - Nigeria
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