- Concarneau hosts the first two quarter-finals of the U-20 Women's World Cup
- France seeking revenge for their defeat in 2016 final
- La Rojita hoping to break new ground at the event with victory over Nigeria
MATCHDAY PREVIEW – Welcome to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018, where the day’s programme could hardly be more enthralling.
Thursday’s schedule in Concarneau opens with the clash of Spain and Nigeria, when the Europeans will be hoping to continue the fine form shown in a tough Group C and the Africans will be banking on their greater experience at the tournament. Later, the hosts will look to take revenge for their defeat in the 2016 final against the defending champions Korea DPR, who only secured a berth in the last eight after a rollercoaster ride through Group B.
What you need to know
Worthy of a final
The last time France and Korea DPR met at the U-20 Women’s World Cup, the match ended with the Koreans lifting the trophy and Les Bleuettes enduring the bitter taste of defeat. That explains why, two years on and in front of their home fans, France are so determined to make amends for that lost final in Papua New Guinea. Indeed, the hosts come into the game in rude health – undefeated here and boasting the joint-best defence alongside Japan, as well as the second most potent attack.
Hope from history
Heading into their last-eight showdown, Nigeria can take encouragement from the fact that they have beaten Spain once before at the U-20 World Cup – in the group stage of the 2016 edition. Paradoxically, however, La Rojita ended up reaching the quarter-finals that year, while the Super Falconets failed to progress. Five members of that Nigeria team and four from Spain will renew acquaintances in Concarneau, where the latter will be hoping to reach the last four of this tournament for the first time.
Guijarro and Laurent hungry for more
In their all-or-nothing duels, Spain and France have two key assets in the form of Patri Guijarro and Emelyne Laurent, respectively. The Rojita midfielder, who is being deployed further wide at this tournament to make the most of her ability to get into scoring positions, is leading the race for the adidas Golden Boot, thanks to her four goals and two assists. Laurent, for her part, is not far behind, having helped herself to three goals and one assist thus far. Will either of them find the target again on Thursday to help their sides reach the last four?