2018 #U20WWC Matchday 2 Round-Up
USA 0-1 JAP
A stunning effort from Honoka Hayashi in the 76th minute silenced the sizeable American crowd as Japan sprung a surprise in Group C by beating the USA 1-0 (reports Olivia Fox of @UoDFootyJournos, from Concarneau).
The USA started in spritely fashion, immediately opening up the Japanese defence, but this hopeful excitement was short-lived.
USA dominated possession even with Japan’s high press but throughout America’s defence wasn’t convincing with some questionable back passes and needless playing out from the back.
The quick start from USA was the opposite of Japan’s slow flowering in to the game and in to their own style, and ultimately this persistence and withstanding of early pressure prevailed.
The Americans simply tried to overplay their usual attractive game. The second half started similarly to the first with numerous half chances but the decision making, and golden touch was eluding both teams until Hayashi’s individual prowess.
The midfielder was at least 30 yards out when she powered her left-footed shot in off the crossbar with a goal as dramatic as it was surprising.
USA now face a rough and ready Paraguayan team with today’s victors in group C facing off that could decide the group winners.
PAR 1-4 SPA
A hat-trick from classy midfielder Patricia Guijarro helped Spain cruise to a 4-1 win against Paraguay (reports Katy Wordley-Smith of @UoDFootyJournos, from Concarneau).
The U-19 European Champions were denied by an aggressive Paraguayan performance until the 40th minute when Guijarro opened the scoring with a low 20-yard drive.
Spain took next to no time to strengthen their lead in the second half with a curled shot into the bottom right corner from Claudia Pina.
Jessica Martinez, leading goal scorer for Paraguay, managed to steal a goal back in the 62nd minute before Guijarro reacted two minutes later with another goal to build on Spain’s lead.
Five minutes of additional time allowed Guijarro to complete her hat-trick and increase Spain’s chances of advancing in the tournament.
The next group C fixtures are both back in Concarneau as Spain face Japan whilst Paraguay come up against the USA.
HAI 1-2 CHI
It was a case of David vs Goliath in Saint-Malo as China held on to their lead to defeat Haiti 2-1 in an enthralling encounter (reports Louis Mitchell of @UoDFootyJournos, from Saint-Malo).
It was obvious that the result did not matter to Haiti’s fans, who provided cacophonous noise throughout with their carnival support.
China showed their class after 13 minutes when Zhao Yujie headed in a Qiwen Xie cross to make it 1-0.
40 seconds after the break, China doubled their lead through Shen Mengu from another cross whilst Haiti switched off.
As Caribbeans in the stands kept roaring, their team kept going and earned a penalty on 78 minutes, converted by captain, Nerilia Mondesir.
However, China saw out the victory but this game was all about Haiti and their fans (the winners face Germany on Thursday).
NIG 0-1 GER
Stefanie Sanders’ 68th minute strike was enough to seal Germany a 1-0 victory in a tightly contested affair against Nigeria (reports Ollie King of @UoDFootyJournos, from Saint-Malo).
The first half lacked clear cut chances, Stefanie Sanders and Adebisi Saheed squandering early efforts on goal.
However the second half provided more attacking threat from both sides.
Chiamaka Nnadozie produced two wonderful saves in quick succession, denying both Laura Freigang’s and Lena Oberdorf’s goal-bound efforts.
But Nnadozie’s efforts proved to be in vain, as a goalmouth scramble from a Germany corner resulted in Sanders tapping the ball home from three yards out.
Nigeria’s response nearly resulted in a goal just two minutes later, Peace Efih’s stunning effort crashing against the Germany post.
But Maren Meinert’s side held on for the victory.
Germany play China on Thursday with Nigeria taking on Haiti later that day.