FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018

5 August - 24 August

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018

Nigeria, Germany and Spain made to sweat, Japan cruise

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  • Japan, Nigeria and Spain complete quarter-final field
  • Africans snatch qualification with last-gasp own-goal
  • USA knocked out in the group stage for the first time

THE DAY REPLAYED – Spain, Japan and Nigeria booked their spots in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018 quarter-finals in the final round of Group C and D action on Monday. However, of this trio, only the Young Nadeshiko were able to breathe easy on what was a day of comebacks. The West Africans starred in the most dramatic reversal of fortunes, breaking China PR's hearts with a last-gasp equaliser in Dinan-Lehon.

USA bowed out bravely and had La Rojita on the ropes until the very last seconds, despite trailing 2-0 at half-time. Germany, for their part, were already through to the last eight prior to their meeting with Haiti, but the already-eliminated Caribbean islanders did not depart meekly and came mighty close to claiming a momentous draw.

Results
Group C: Japan 6-0 Paraguay | Spain 2-2 USA
Group D: Germany 3-2 Haiti | China PR 1-1 Nigeria

Memorable moments

Japan give Paraguay painful sense of déjà vu
Two years ago, Japan and Paraguay met in the group stage of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup. On that occasion as well, the Asians ran rings around the South Americans, eventually romping to a 5-0 victory. A number of players appeared in both encounters, including strike duo Saori Takarada and Riko Ueki, who were both hat-trick heroes this time round. Takarada also found the net in the 2016 fixture.

Germany stutter but seal sole clean sweep
Of the eight quarter-finalists, only Die Mannschaft go into the knockout stage with a perfect record. However, after keeping clean sheets against Nigeria and China PR, whom they defeated 1-0 and 2-0 respectively, the three-time champions made heavy weather of overcoming Haiti and conceded their first goals of the tournament. Coach Maren Meinert will be keen to iron out some kinks ahead of the last-eight encounter with Japan, who are one of the competition's most fearsome attacking forces.

One goal, a world of difference
USA and Nigeria both went into second-half stoppage time in their respective games in Dinan-Lehon needing one goal to change their fortunes. The Super Falconets managed to salvage a draw with practically the final kick of their match against China PR, being indebted to a 95th-minute own-goal for their quarter-final berth. By contrast, the Stars and Stripes were unable to complete their comeback against Spain, in spite of scoring twice in the final ten minutes. It means that the three-time U-20 Women's World Cup winners have failed to get beyond the group stage for the first time.

The words
“It was a hard, hard-fought game and we know it is not good for the evolution and development of football to just go out in the group stage, so that is why we kept going and kept going and kept going. We didn’t come to sit back and look for a draw, but the goal came just in the nick of time.”
Nigeria coach Christopher Musa

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Up next

Quarter-finals

Spain-Nigeria, Concarneau, 16:00 local time, 16 August
Germany-Japan, Vannes, 19:30 local time, 17 August

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