THE DAY REPLAYED — Asian representatives Korea DPR and Japan had plenty of reason to celebrate on the final day of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016. Despite falling behind to France in the final, the North Koreans managed to turn a compelling match in their favour to become world champions for the second time since 2006. Meanwhile Japan emerged victorious over USA, securing another third-place finish after recording the same result in 2012.
Match for third place
USA 0-1 Japan
Korea DPR 3-1 France
Goal of the day
USA 0-1 Japan (Mami Ueno 87')
Despite firing 29 shots goalwards during the match for third place, the Japanese had to wait until the 87th minute before substitute Mami Ueno broke the deadlock and scored the winner. After picking up the ball on the left side of the penalty area, the striker demonstrated excellent awareness and technical skill to loop a shot over Casey Murphy and into the far corner.
Despite putting in an exceptional shift between the posts, the American goalkeeper could do little but watch helplessly as the delicate lob floated beyond her reach. The strike also ensured that Ueno received the adidas Golden Boot as the tournament’s top goalscorer.
Between heaven and hell: Kim Phyong Hwa experienced every emotion football has to offer within the space of a few minutes. With the scores tied at 1-1, the unmarked Korea DPR midfielder missed a gilt-edged opportunity to give her team the lead from short range, before making amends with a headed goal just a few minutes later.
Geyoro's flash of genius: "I’ve got to take more shots,” Grace Geyoro told FIFA.com ahead of the final. “Everyone tells me I should, but then I don’t think of it later. Although I’ve got a good shot, the thought never crosses my mind during matches.” In a moment of inspiration in the 17th minute of the final, the France midfielder finally tried her luck and put Les Bleuettes ahead.
Orange lights the way forward: The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup ended today in Papua New Guinea with a strong message to end violence against women and girls. At the final, a campaign was highlighted to stop this pandemic, which affects 1 in 3 women and girls worldwide. Stadium screens illuminated with videos and messages to raise awareness. A culmination of FIFA’s efforts throughout the tournament with its Red Card campaign to end violence, the pre-match ceremony was organized in collaboration with UN Women and part of the “Orange the World” initiative under the umbrella of the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign. The colour orange is used as a symbol of a brighter future, free from violence against women and girls.
Remembering Chapecoense: A minute’s silence was held before both matches in tribute to the victims of Monday’s tragic plane crash involving Brazilian club Associação Chapecoense de Futebol, while players from all four teams wore black armbands.
FAN-tastic atmosphere: Fans in Port Moresby were once again on top form for the final day of the U-20 Women’s World Cup. Colourful supporters packed out the National Football Stadium and created an impressive atmosphere, while the Fan Zone at the Vision City Mega Mall was bursting at the seams as a vast crowd gathered in front of the big screen to noisily celebrate this festival of football.
A World Cup experience for all: In a fantastic gesture from US coach Michelle French, midfielder Marley Canales was brought on as a substitute in the final few minutes of the match for third place to ensure that all 18 outfield players in the American squad enjoyed time on the pitch in Papua New Guinea.
Hosts embark on lap of honour: Despite exiting the competition after the group stage, Papua New Guinea’s performances sparked euphoria in their homeland that peaked when Nicollete Ageva scored their first-ever World Cup goal. On the final day of the competition, coach Lisa Cole’s charges took the opportunity to round off their adventure with a lap of honour in front of appreciative fans at the National Football Stadium.
113 – A total of 113 goals were scored at Papua New Guinea 2016, making it the highest-scoring tournament in the history of the U-20 Women’s World Cup together with Chile 2008.
“We were very confident when we arrived here. We wanted to respond to the exportations of our families, friends and everybody in our country. We did and that makes me very proud.”
Korea DPR midfielder, Kim Phyong Hwa
“It has been a fantastic tournament, and there has been a lot of lessons learnt for all the players on our team. We weren’t able to leave PNG with a medal but everything we take away from this moment, whether it was the feeling of being defeated or the feeling that we were always in the game, will prove really valuable for them the future.
“To sum up the entire tournament for us, I would just use one word – passion. That is the identity of this team. We absolutely could have played better soccer, there is no doubt about that, and the players know that. But they fought for a medal until the very last second, and the almost got one.”
USA coach, Michelle French
“This tournament has been a good experience for my players, especially this match. This tournament is a good learning curve for the players, even if things didn’t quite turn out the way we wanted. It has been a good learning curve for the players and is good for Japanese football. In terms of the outcome, we were disappointed not to reach the final but at least we have a medal to take home.”
Japan coach, Asako Takakura