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FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018

Spain

Eva Navarro of Spain celebrates with team mates after scoring
© Getty Images

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup record 
France 2018 will be Spain’s third appearance at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. They made their debut at Thailand 2004, where they failed to progress beyond the group stage. The team fared better during their second appearance, at Papua New Guinea 2016, where they reached the quarter-finals before losing to eventual champions Korea DPR.

The road to France 
La Rojita come into the tournament on the back of a successful 2017, a year in which they became European U-19 champions. Their win over France in Belfast ended a run of three straight final defeats. It was sealed thanks to two goals in the last five minutes that turned the game on its head and brought Spain’s women their second European title at U-19 level.

Spain qualified for the final with a 3-2 semi-final win against the Netherlands. They had previously finished second in their group, following a defeat by Germany (2-0) and two wins over Scotland (1-0) and the Republic of Ireland (2-0).

The coach 
Pedro Lopez took charge of the Spanish U-19 national team in 2015 following the announcement of his predecessor, Jorge Vilda, as head coach of the senior team. He took up where Vilda had left off and has accelerated the development of a talented group of players, helped by the knowledge and experience that he brought from his previous role with the U-17 team. As shown by his recent successes, Lopez knows how to get the very best out of his players. The Spanish team are reaping the benefit of their coach’s attention to detail, in terms of both researching the opposition and planning training sessions.

The stat 
5 - The number of goals scored by Patricia Guijarro at the European U-19 Championship, where the Spanish striker finished as tournament top scorer. Her strikes included the winning goal in the final against France.