After the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 kicks off on 13 November, there will be several players raring to seize their latest chance to show off their talents on the world stage. Indeed, many of those involved have already shone for their national teams in recent months at the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 or the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, which finished just a couple of weeks ago.
Canadian player Deanne Rose is one of the most high-profile players taking part in Papua New Guinea 2016, as it will be her third major tournament this year. Part of the Canadian team that stormed to third place in Rio, Rose played in five matches and scored in the bronze medal match against host nation Brazil. What is more, last month she played in three matches at Jordan 2016, scoring a goal against Germany in the group stage. Will Rose be able to hit the back of the net again in PNG?
In the quarter-finals at the Olympics, the Canadian youngster came up against another starlet who will also be taking part in the U-20 Women’s World Cup: France’s Sakina Karchaoui. The gifted defender played in two matches at Rio 2016, including France’s victory over New Zealand. New Zealand star Jasmine Pereira was also at that match and will have the chance to get her own revenge back on Karchaoui when the two teams meet in Group C on 21 November.
Group C also features another rising star from Rio 2016, American player Mallory Pugh, who took part in three matches in Rio, including the quarter-final, where USA lost on penalties to Sweden after drawing 1-1. Swedish player Stina Blackstenius, who scored the opening goal in that match, will also be in Papua New Guinea and is hoping for yet more success after helping fire Sweden to silver at the Games.
Another date with destiny
After playing a full part in Korean DPR’s run to victory at the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan two weeks ago, Sung Hyang-Sim and her team-mate, goalkeeper Ok Kum-Ju will be back in action again in Papua New Guinea, aiming to claim another winner’s medal. The North Koreans’ last title win at the U-20 Women’s World Cup came back in 2006.
Sung earned global acclaim when awarded the adidas Silver Ball in Jordan, after being voted player of the match in three of her six appearances. Keeper Ok also shone at the event on Jordanian soil, keeping four clean sheets in six games on the way to the North Koreans’ second U-17 Women’s World Cup crown.
In addition, Ghana will be looking for Sandra Owusu-Ansah to be in top form again in Papua New Guinea, after scoring two goals at Jordan 2016 and captaining her country to the quarter-finals – where they lost to the eventual winners. The other team representing Africa at the U-20 Women’s World Cup, Nigeria, will have high hopes for Rasheedat Ajibade, who played in three matches in Jordan and was named player of the match against England in the group stage.
For her part, New Zealander Hannah Blake will be looking to build on the hat-trick she scored against the hosts at Jordan 2016, when she represents the Kiwis in Group C in Papua New Guinea. Last but not least, Venezuelan goalkeeper Nayluisa Caceres is hoping to catch the eye again at this tournament, just as she did when helping her country to the semis at the U-17 Women’s World Cup event a short while ago.
So, will these starlets seize another chance to shine at Papua New Guinea 2016? We will know very soon!