Matchday 4 at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022
Group C: Nigeria through to quarter-finals, France still alive
Group D: Japan on maximum points, Netherlands shock USA
With the second round of matches at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2022 complete, we now know that Ghana and Canada will be joining hosts Costa Rica on the sidelines once the knock-out stage starts.
In Group C, Nigeria managed their second 1-0 win in a row, this one coming against Korea Republic. With France defeating Canada in their second match and facing the Taegeuk Ladies in their final group game, it means that the African side are already through to the quarter-finals.
There is a similar situation in Group D, where Japan are the only team besides Nigeria to have won both of their group games, although the defending champions are not yet mathematically through to the last eight. Three-time tournament winners USA meanwhile succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of the Netherlands, meaning that they are on the brink of elimination.
Korea Republic 0-1 Nigeria (watch goal)
Player of the match: Esther ONYENEZIDE (NGA)
France 3-1 Canada
Player of the match: Magnaba FOLQUET (FRA)
Japan 2-0 Ghana
Player of the match: Maika HAMANO (JPN)
USA 0-3 Netherlands
Player of the match: Dana FOEDERER (NED)
Defending champions in fine form
Only two teams are on maximum points at the end of the second series of group games – Nigeria and defending champions Japan. The Young Nadeshiko (6 points) are well clear at the top of the group, ahead of the Netherlands and USA (each on 3 points). The Stars and Stripes face Japan on Wednesday with their qualification for the knock-out phase on the line, particularly as the Leeuwinnen should on paper have an easier time of it against Ghana, who have already been eliminated.
Rain, rain, go away
As was the case on the last two matchdays, the rain did its best to spoil things. A storm hit over the Alajuela Morero Soto Stadium shortly after the start of the first match between Japan and Ghana, with the result that the kick-off for Korea Republic – Nigeria had to be put back by an hour.
3 – The last time that USA conceded three goals in a game at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup was ten years ago against Germany. Back in 2012, the Stars and Stripes also lost 3-0 in a group fixture, yet went on to win the title 12 days later (getting their revenge on Germany 1-0 in the final).
6 – Canada have now lost six matches in a row in this competition, with defeat at the hands of France also spelling elimination from Costa Rica 2022.
“We are a giant in Africa and fear no other team. We’ve trained an unbelievable amount and if you look back at qualifying, then we’ve every right to be confident out here whenever we play. We want to show the world that we’re not just big in African terms but that we can beat any other team.”
Esther Onyenezide (player of the match and goal-scorer for Nigeria)