- England to meet Japan for a place in the final
- Hosts France take on Spain in the second semi-final
- Battle for the adidas Golden Boot wide open
MATCHDAY PREVIEW – One thing is already certain: the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018 will crown a new world champion after defending champions Korea DPR were eliminated by the hosts in the quarter-finals.
Three-time winners Germany and USA have also packed their bags and headed home, leaving us with four sides all harbouring dreams of a maiden U-20 Women's World Cup triumph.
What you need to know
1. Who will win the adidas Golden Boot?
What makes an intriguing sub-plot all the more fascinating is that as many as four players, representing all four semi-finalists, find their names among the competition’s leading scorers. Spain’s Patri Guijarro and England’s Georgia Stanway have each struck five goals so far, while Saori Takarada of Japan and Amelie Delabre of France have netted four apiece. The battle for the top scorer award and the adidas Golden Boot is wide open.
2. France’s rock between the posts
Having picked the ball out of her net just once, Mylene Chavas has conceded the fewest goals of any goalkeeper at this tournament. The 20-year-old is repeating the heroics she achieved during the competition in Papua New Guinea two years ago, when she won the adidas Golden Glove award. “She’s a really good ‘keeper, very complete. It’s a very demanding position and the fact she’s mastered it so well is really important,” said France coach Gilles Eyquem of his No1. “She has lots of qualities, dealing with high balls or on her goalline – you saw that against Ghana when she saved the penalty – and on top of that, she’s also great with her feet. She’s still young, but I believe she has a great future ahead of her.”
3. Goals on the menu?
Each of the semi-finalists have scored freely so far, and combined, they account for 40 of the 89 goals scored at France 2018. It will therefore be highly interesting to see whether the defences will be able to keep the attackers out, or whether the flurry of goals will continue. Japan appear to have the toughest task in containing England, who plundered 10 goals in the group stages and were the only side to reach double figures.
Memories of 2015
It may not have been a FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup clash, but England’s meeting with Japan naturally conjures memories of the sides’ semi-final meeting at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015.
It was Japan who progressed to the final three years ago after a dramatic end to the game, but will it be the same again today?