THE DAY REPLAYED. The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Germany 2010 reached its conclusion on Sunday, with the hosts overcoming a battling Nigeria side 2-0 to win the trophy for the second time.
Champions at Thailand 2004, the Germans have not put a foot wrong on home soil, winning all six of their games, scoring 20 goals and conceding only five, with half of their goals coming from the prolific Alexandra Popp.
Fittingly it was the Duisburg goal machine who put Maren Meinert’s team on the road to victory, tilting the match against the Falconets, who were hoping to win the title for the first time after quarter-final exits in their previous three appearances. Through their courageous display was not quite enough to land them the trophy, the Nigerians had the considerable consolation of becoming the first African side to claim a medal at a FIFA women’s tournament.
Earlier in the day, Korea Republic claimed the spoils in the match for third place against Colombia, the only goal of the game coming from adidas Silver Ball and Silver Shoe winner Ji So Yun. While the South Koreans could take satisfaction from a podium finish in their second FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, Las Cafeteras can be equally happy at reaching the last four in their maiden appearance.
Korea Republic 1-0 Colombia
Germany 2-0 Nigeria
Goal of the day
Germany 1-0 Nigeria, Alexandra Popp 8*
*Collecting an Alexandra Popp flick-on, Dzsenifer Marozman advanced on goal before playing the unmarked Popp in on the right. The tournament’s leading scorer did the rest, outpacing her marker before artfully clipping the ball over Alaba Jonathan in the Nigeria goal, giving the Germans an early lead they would not relinquish.
Memorable momentsSay it with fireworks: Germany’s win was followed by one big party, with fireworks lighting up the FIFA U-20 Women's WC Stadium in Bielefeld. The newly crowned world champions then sparked off more celebrations with a lap of honour, gratefully acknowledging the support of the home fans, who acclaimed their young heroines with chants of “Champions, champions”.
South Koreans let their hair down: Korea Republic celebrated their victory over Colombia as if they had won the tournament itself. After thanking the local fans for their enthusiastic backing, all 23 members of the squad joined together to toss coach Choi In Cheul and his assistants in the air before gleefully dousing them in water.
Let’s hear it for the fans: Though the players have been the stars of the show, the fans have played their part in making Germany 2010 a genuine festival of football, setting a new attendance record for the tournament. Over the last three weeks, some 395,265 spectators have filled the stands in Augsburg, Bochum, Dresden and Bielefeld, an average of 12,353 fans per game, with the final attracting virtually double that amount.
*The stat *2 - The number of times Germany have now won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup since its inception in 2002, taking them level with USA. The Europeans’ previous triumph came at Thailand 2004, when they beat China PR 2-0 in the final.
Have your say
Of all the unforgettable moments served up by the young stars of the women’s game at Germany 2010 what was your favourite?
adidas Golden Ball: Alexandra Popp (GER)
adidas Silver Ball: Ji So Yun (KOR)
adidas Bronze Ball: Kim Kulig (GER)
adidas Golden Shoe: Alexandra Popp (GER)
adidas Silver Shoe: Ji So Yun (KOR)
adidas Bronze Shoe: Sydney Leroux (USA)
adidas Golden Glove: Bianca Henninger (USA)
FIFA Fair Play award: Korea Republic