U-20 WWC: Match Day 5 – Mexico Knocks-Out New Zealand, Brazil Falls to South Korea

The final day of group play for Groups A and B in the 2012 Under-20 Women’s World Cup saw Mexico crush the hearts of the Junior Football Ferns as El Tri scored four second-half goals and Brazil fall to South Korea after scoring a potential go-ahead goal that was disallowed on a disputable offside call. In the other matches, Japan and Nigeria each had relatively easy 4:0 wins over Switzerland and Italy, respectively.

With all matches played in Groups A and B, Japan and Mexico advance out of Group A, while Nigeria and South Korea advance from Group B. Thus, the quarterfinal match-ups for August 30th will be Nigeria vs. Mexico (3:00 a.m. EDT) and Japan vs. South Korea (6:30 a.m. EDT). Both matches will be shown live on ESPNU.

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In the more meaningful match of the group, after a scoreless first half, New Zealand was forty-some minutes away from advancing to the knock-out stage for the first time when Junior Fern ‘keeper Erin Nayler blasted a goal kick to midfield. The ball was headed hard back toward goal by a Mexican player. Santa Clara’s Sofia Huerta hustled after the ball and then chipped a low shot over a diving Nayler. The shot trickled toward the far post and Huerta followed up on the slow shot to ensure the goal. After that, three goals in the final twenty minutes — two headers by Natalia Gomez Junco and Yamile Franco, plus a volley shot by Olivia Jimenez — secured Mexican’s win.

In the other match, Japan defeated Switzerland 4:0 via two free kicks goals by Yoko Tanaka, a volley shot by Asuka Nishikawa following a corner kick, and a penalty scored by Hikaru Naomoto.

Mexico 4, New Zealand 0.
MEX Goals: Huerta (47′), Gomez Junco (74′), Franco (85′), Jiminez (87′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page, ESPN3 replay.

Japan 4, Switzerland 0.
JPN Goals: Y. Tanaka (30′ FK, 47′ FK), Nishikawa (52′), Naomoto (84′ PK).
See Also: FIFA.com match page.

Japan, the group winners, and Mexico, the group runner-up, advance to the quarterfinals, while New Zealand and Switzerland have been eliminated.

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In the 35th minute of their match versus South Korea, Brazil looked to have a go-ahead goal, but a very disputable offside call negated that goal. The South Americans had a number of other quality chances, including a free kick shot by Thais Guedes that was off the crossbar. But, in the final twenty minutes, two counter-attack goals by Jeoun Eunha — South Korea’s only two shots on goal — doomed the Brazilians to an early trip home and secured the Korean’s a ticket into the knock-out round.

The other match, between Nigeria and Italy, was a fairly easy win for the Africans, with Francisca Ordega scoring a hat trick and Osarenoma Igbinovia adding a late insurance goal.

South Korea 2, Brazil 0.
KOR Goals: Jeoun Eunha (74′, 82′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page, ESPN3 replay.

Nigeria 4, Italy 0.
NGA Goals: Ordega (20′, 40′, 47′), Igbinovia (86′).
See Also: FIFA.com match page.

With group play completed, Nigeria, as group winners, and South Korea, as runner-up, advance to the quarterfinals. Brazil and Italy have been eliminated.

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GROUP D — The marquee match of group play will be contested in Miyagi as the United States and Germany both look to win the group (ESPN2, 3:00 a.m. EDT). Germany has already secured a place in the knock-out stage, while the United States must avoid a loss in order to guarantee advancement. The USA can still advance with a loss as long as China does not win its match against Ghana and is able to make up the relative goal difference with the USA.

GROUP C — Canada and Norway, both sitting on 3 points, are in must-win situations in order to advancement to the knock-out stage. The job is easier for the Norwegians, who face minnow Argentina. Meanwhile, Canada takes on North Korea, who are virtually assured of making of the quarterfinals absent a trainwreck performance. Should Canada and Norway both win, goal differential will be crucial in seeing who advances. Currently, Canada has a +5 advantage, while Norway is at -1.

AND, THEN TWO REST DAYS — After Monday’s matches, there will be two rest days. The first pair of quarterfinals between teams in Groups A and B will be played on Thursday, August 30th.

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