- Japan reign supreme at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018
- They become the fourth country to win the competition
- Spain’s Patricia Guijarro picks up the adidas Golden Ball and adidas Golden Boot
Prior to France 2018, only three nations had ever won the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, which had been held eight times previously: USA, Germany and Korea DPR. By the end of the tournament, however, Japan had added their name to that select list, having lit up the competition with their sublime passing game, orchestrated by supremely gifted talents such as Saori Takarada, Moeka Minami, Fuka Nagano and Riko Ueki.
Spain were the only side to trouble the champions, beating them in the group phase – the one and only defeat the Young Nadeshiko suffered at France 2018 – and then fighting till the end in the final, despite being 3-0 down at one stage. Pedro Lopez’s side can take pride from their second place, La Rojita’s best ever performance in the competition, and from the adidas Golden Ball and adidas Golden Boot collected by their star act, Patricia Guijarro.
Led by Georgia Stanway and her six goals, England achieved a best ever finish of their own in taking third place. The Young Lionesses beat France to the bronze in a penalty shootout that saw a surprise miss from Bleuettes left-back Selma Bacha, who had an otherwise excellent tournament.
Did you know?
- Japan and Spain met in the final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2014, a match the Asians also won.
- For the first time in the history of the competition, USA failed to reach the quarter-finals.
- In making their debut appearance in a women's World Cup in any age group, Haiti failed to win a single point but did score three goals, all of them courtesy of the impressive Nerilia Mondesir.
- Defeated in the last eight by Japan, Germany were the only side to collect maximum points in the group phase.
- Defending champions Korea DPR were beaten in the quarter-finals by France, the side they defeated to win the Papua New Guinea 2016 final.
- In making their fifth appearance in the competition, Ghana suffered their fifth group-phase exit.
All France 2018 visual stories HERE
The stars of tomorrow
It is often said that the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is a springboard to the pinnacle of the game, though there are some players who already seem to have taken that step, among them Patricia Guijarro, Fuka Nagano, Georgia Stanway, and Selma Bacha. It would be no surprise to see some of them at France 2019. During the course of the tournament, FIFA.com spoke to some of the women’s game’s rising stars:
- Golden girl Nagano eyes ultimate prize
- Guijarro: Spain have a score to settle with Japan
- Brilliant Bacha alleviates French frustration
- Stanway: We're not putting any limits on our dreams
- Ueki and Japan keen to make history in France
- Spain’s Egurrola talks tactics
All France 2018 interviews HERE
All match results HERE
1. Patricia Guijarro (ESP) – 6 goals, 3 assists
2. Georgia Stanway (ENG) – 6 goals
3. Saori Takarada (JPN) – 5 goals, 3 assists
Top goalscorer standings HERE
Number of goals
98 goals at an average of 3.1 per match.
Vote for goal of the tournament HERE
adidas Golden Ball: Patricia Guijarro (ESP)
adidas Silver Ball: Saori Takarada (JPN)
adidas Bronze Ball: Moeki Minami (JPN)
adidas Golden Glove: Sandy MacIver (ENG)
Fair Play Award: Japan
All France 2018 awards HERE
Stadiums and host cities
Stade de la Rabine (Vannes), Stade de Marville (Saint-Malo), Stade Guy-Piriou (Concarneau), Stade du Clos Gastel (Dinan-Léhon)
Stadiums and host cities HERE