Japan and the Netherlands claimed Group D’s tickets to the quarter-finals
USA, the joint-record three-time champions, crashed out
France joined Nigeria in progressing from Group C
The reigning champions strengthened their tag as title favourites as the joint-record three-time winners crashed out on a goal-laden conclusion to the group stage. Japan, indeed, outplayed USA in a 3-1 victory that saw them storm through to the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup™ quarter-finals. The Netherlands seized Group D’s second ticket thanks to an emphatic 4-1 defeat of Ghana.
Over in Group C, France edged an end-to-end showdown with Korea Republic to go through alongside Nigeria, who advance with a 100-per-cent record.
— FIFA Women's World Cup (@FIFAWWC) August 18, 2022
Korea Republic 0-1 France
Player of the Match: Vicki Becho
Nigeria 3-1 Canada | Highlights
Player of the Match: Esther Onyenezide
USA 1-3 Japan
Player of the Match: Manaka Matsukubo
Netherlands 4-1 Ghana
Player of the Match: Liz Rijsbergen
If Manaka Matsukubo’s opener was superb, Shinomi Koyama’s cushion-doubler was sensational. The Japan left-back employed a sublime, surprise touch to slide past her marker before burying a thunderbolt in the side-netting. No goalkeeper would have stopped it. Can any team stop the Young Nadeshiko lifting the trophy?
From deputy to heroine
Marie-Morgane Sieber only discovered she would be playing at the 11th hour, when Marie Petiteau was ruled out. The Rodez goalkeeper responded with by making a series of saves, the pick of which was a point-blank effort from Ko Dayeong just before the break.
Esther chases down Inma
Inma Gabarro began the day as the overwhelming favourite to finish as leading markswoman. She ended it with Esther Onyenezide, who bagged a brace against Canada, breathing down her neck. Asisat Oshoala and Patricia Guijarro won the adidas Golden Boot in 2014 and 2018 respectively. Will the award end up with a Nigerian or a Spaniard for a second time?
Fourteen goals were scored on Wednesday – the most on a single day at Costa Rica 2022. The thirteen netted on Matchday 5 had set the previous benchmark.
Korea Republic had 10 corners against France – more than a team has had in a game at Costa Rica 2022 – but were unable to make something of any of them. Ironically, Les Bleuettes did, clearing a Taegeuk Ladies corner, counter-attacking and netting the only goal.
Japan made it seven successive victories in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Only two teams in the competition’s history have put together longer winning runs: USA (10 between 2002 and ’04) and Germany (12 between 2008 and ’12).
“We are overjoyed to have progressed. We were aware that we were in a very tough group. Japan and the USA are among the best teams in the world. But we believed in ourselves and gave our best. We were a bit nervous at the start today and I’m glad I was able to help the team with my goals.”
Liz Rijsbergen, Netherlands forward
“Winning the title is our main objective. We prepare for our opponents in our style, the Japanese style. It doesn’t matter who we face.”
Ibuki Nagae, Japan defender
“Playing in a tournament like this was definitely a dream for me. I was proud to have this opportunity. I would love to represent my country in many more World Cups.”
Olivia Moultrie, USA midfielder
(Kick-off times local)
16:30 on Saturday, Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose
20:00 on Saturday, Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose
16:30 on Sunday, Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela
20:00 on Sunday, Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela