On day one of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup from Germany, the hosts jumped out to an early (and expected) three points with a 4-2 win over Costa Rica. The first 45 minutes of the entire tournament were quite entertaining with three goals going into the back of the net between Germany and Costa Rica. The Central Americans would be more discouraged, though, as they went into halftime down 2-1 to the hosts.
Svenja Huth opened the scoring for Germany in just the second minute and Alexandra Popp added a second in the 16th minute. However, Carolina Venegas would pull one back for Costa Rica in stoppage time of the first half. Popp would strike again in the 53rd minute and captain Marina Hegering would put Germany ahead 4-1. Costa Rica would get one back in the 72nd minute when captain Katherine Alvarado finished a penalty kick after Bianca Schmidt was sent off for a brash challenge as the last defender, but Germany would take the game 4-2.
FINAL: Germany 4-2 Costa Rica
Maren Meinert, Germany coach
I’m delighted we’ve won the opening game, and I’m very satisfied with my team’s display. We controlled the game for almost the whole 90 minutes. We were hoping for an early goal, and we went out and scored it. However, taking the game as a whole, we should have won by a bigger margin. But we’ve taken the three points, and that’s what matters. We stuck to the task and our work-rate was good. The Opening Match in 2006 [when Germany beat Costa Rica at the FIFA World Cup™] also ended 4-2, so we’ll take that as a good omen. I’m expecting our next opponents Colombia to come at us. I reckon it’ll be a similar game to today’s against Costa Rica.
Randall Chacon, Costa Rica coach
We came up against very strong opposition today. They’re strong as footballers, but also physically. Their goals which made it 1-0 and then 3-1 hurt us badly, they hit us hard with their pace. But we were very well-prepared for our opponents. We knew Germany would press us high up the field, that they’d beat us in the air, and that they have good wide players. Our priority was to keep it tight in defence, and you can judge for yourselves how well that worked out. But overall, I’m pleased with my team’s performance.
At the same time, the Brazilians fell 1-0 to North Korea behind a 69th minute goal from Ho Un Byol. The North Korean’s are the defending U-17 Women’s World Cup Champions and were runner-ups in Chile at the last U-20 Women’s World Cup in Chile, where they fell to the United States in the final.
FINAL: Brazil 0-1 North Korea
Marcos Gaspar, Brazil coach
It’s always a challenge when your opening match is against North Korea. It was an exceptionally hard-fought game, and unfortunately we’ve lost. But we’re already thinking ahead to our next match, and we’ll go all-out to win it. I knew the North Koreans would play a lot of long balls, especially to their wingers, which is why we played with a spare defensive midfielder. She dropped back from time to time to try and cover the long passes. We’ve prepared very well for this World Cup, so I’m not at all concerned as yet. The players will all be fit and ready to go for the next match.
Choe Kwang Sok, Korea DPR coach
It was a very difficult game for us, and we’re just delighted we’ve finished the match as winners, because it’s very valuable to us. It’s always hard to compare men’s and women’s football. Our men’s game is only really starting to take off now, whereas women’s football is already very popular, because we’ve won a few trophies in the past. Reaching the final is our target.
I’m happy enough with the match, because we looked very solid in defence. We lost because of some very minor details. Our attacking play needs to improve in the next match. We’re not out of it yet, and we’ll give everything in our next match this Friday. I’m convinced Brazil can go a long way at this World Cup.
Later in the day, France and Columbia drew 1-1 in a game that Columbia barely salvaged. Marina Makanza opened the scoring in the 16th minute but Lady Andrade struck for Columbia in the 82nd minute to
FINAL: Columbia 1-1 France
Jean-Michel Degrange, France coach
We had problems with the weather today. The Colombians seemed to adapt better to the weather than we did. Especially in the last few minutes, they coped far better than us. I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Colombia players for the way they fought right to the end.
Ricardo Rozo, Colombia coach
I’m happy with the result. The French goal had a significant impact on us. In the second half, we tried to get on the attack more often, and we were rewarded for that. That’s a good result for us, as we have Germany up next. I wanted us to play at a higher pace than that. We’ll need to up the pace considerably against Germany.
Audrey Fevrier, France captain
Colombia put us under a lot of pressure in the second half. Their equaliser hit us hard. The Colombians had a lot of pace up front and they were dominating the match at the end. Shortly before the final whistle, we simply had nothing left to give.
Finally, Sweden emerged as victors Tuesday 2-1 over New Zealand. The Kiwis opened the scoring in the 33rd minute when Hannah Wilkinson found net Antonia Goransson scored a brace with goals in the 56th and 67th minutes to give the Swedes a 2-1 win.
FINAL: Sweden 2-1 New Zealand
Tony Readings, New Zealand coach
We’re capable of playing a lot better than that, as we know from our warm-up games. We’ve come up short today, and we’re very disappointed.
Calle Barrling, Sweden coach
We’re thrilled about winning our first match at this World Cup, although especially when you look at the first half, we’ve got to defend better than that. But today was always going to be a difficult game.
Antonia Goransson, Sweden
It’s a great feeling to be the match-winner, but we should really have wrapped it up earlier. I hope I’ll score a few goals at this World Cup, but the team is obviously the priority.
Hannah Wilkinson, New Zealand
We eased off far too much after my goal. We had a real go at them again at the end, but we’ve not managed another goal. I’m very disappointed, especially after we started so well. But Spain lost their first match (in South Africa), so I guess this means we’ll win the World Cup!
Emilia Appelquist, Sweden
What we’ve set out to do here is be brave and enjoy the tournament. Our initial target is to reach the quarter-finals, hopefully against Germany. Obviously, in an ideal world we’d like to go further than that, but we’re taking it step by step. That was a hard-fought match between two good teams. At the end of the day, we deserved to win, and I’m delighted we’ve done so.
Goal of the Day: Germany captain Marina Hegering’s goal.
Germany-Costa Rica: 23,995
Brazil-North Korea: 10,065
Sweden-New Zealand: 10,065
Average through four games: 11,656
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/ 7 days ago
This article is part of our “Forwards” series this month, which is exclusively for subscribers...