- Quarter-final action at France 2018 concludes on Friday
- England and the Netherlands looking to make semi-finals for first time
- Germany and Japan have met in the knockout stage on two previous occasions
MATCHDAY PREVIEW – The second set of quarter-finals at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup offers opportunities for three teams to set new landmarks in this competition, while former champions Germany look to continue their march towards an unprecedented fourth world title.
The Stade de la Rabine in Vannes will be the venue for these two intriguing encounters on Friday, beginning with an all-European clash between two attack-minded sides in England and the Netherlands. In the evening kick-off, Maren Meinert’s German side will have their 100 per cent record at France 2018 tested when they meet Japan.
What you need to know
1. Breaking new ground
Whoever advances from the afternoon clash between England and the Netherlands will create history for themselves in this competition. As U-20 Women’s World Cup debutants, the Dutch can take pride in having reached the knockout stages at their first attempt. For the Young Lionesses, the goal is to make the next step and play in the semi-finals, having come up short on two occasions at this stage in 2002 and 2008.
2. Familiar match-up
When Germany and Japan meet in the evening contest, it will be the third time that these two sides have played a knockout stage game in this tournament. On both occasions, it was the Germans that triumphed over the Young Nadeshiko, beginning with a quarter-final meeting back in 2002, then a semi-final encounter in 2012. While the Europeans are seeking another world title in this age category, the East Asians are aiming to improve on the two third-place finishes they achieved in 2012 and 2016.
3. Goalscorers on display
Friday’s matches could feature six players who are in a strong position to challenge for the adidas Golden Boot award as the tournament’s top scorer, with all six currently on three goals following the group stage. Four of them are likely to appear in the first game, with England boasting the formidable attacking trio of Lauren Hemp, Alessia Russo and Georgia Stanway and the Netherlands likely to deploy Fenna Kalma up front. In their 6-0 victory over Paraguay, Japan’s Saori Takarada and Riko Ueki each scored a hat-trick. That new level of confidence in front of goal will be essential to their hopes of overcoming Germany in the last eight.