U-20 Women’s World Cup: The History Making Nadeshiko Japan

29 Aug
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Well done Japan!! They played nothing like the shy, idealized women personified by their nickname to take their first U-20 Women’s World Cup title and by doing so becoming the first women’s football team to achieve the FIFA triple crown, winning the U-17, U-20, and senior women’s titles.

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Interestingly, Japan won their first FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in 2014 after beating, you guessed it, Spain. They’re building up quite the mini-rivalry; I look forward to seeing the next iteration in 2019.

Over to the third place match which went to penalties following a 0-0 stalemate through extra time. Penalties are always a good goalkeeper show and England’s Sandy MacIver did not disappoint, saving both Selma Bacha and Amelie Delabre’s shots to nab third place for England.

(Psst, the last time the Lionesses placed top three at a FIFA tournament I was there! On the pitch after the game and between the benches during extra time. Good times.)

Awards
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Golden Ball: Patricia Guijarro SPN
Silver Ball: Saori Takarada JPN
Bronze Ball: Moeka Minami JPN

Someone needs to show Guijarro how to imitate an impassive look. Yes, I understand she just lost the final and such trophies are not that consoling when in a heightened negative emotional space. But frowning like this and looking like she’d cut a bitch? Not a good look. If you need tips on how to pull off impassivity, I direct you to Luka Modric circa 2018 World Cup.

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Golden Boot: Patricia Guijarro SPN
Silver Boot: Georgia Stanway ENG
Bronze Boot: Saori Takarada JPN

Another award and another angry frown. Let’s concentrate on Stanway instead, having grabbed the silver boot to go with her bronze medal and looking like she won the tournament. Both Stanway and Guijarro finished with 6 goals each, but Guijarro pipped her to the top with three assists.

Here’s an interesting fact, the Golden Boot winner has also won the Golden Ball in every second iteration of the tournament (the tournament occurs every two years):

2002 – Cristine Sinclair CAN
2006 – Ma Xiaoxu CHN
2010 – Alexandra Popp GER
2014 – Asisat Oshoala NGA
2018 – Patricia Guijarro SPN

These wins have not, however, translated into awards at the senior tournament (yet). Only Marta, winner of the Golden Ball in 2004, has won awards at the senior level taking both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 2007 WWC.

Okay, maybe this is only interesting to me.

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Golden Glove: Sandy MacIver ENG

MacIver played very well throughout the tournament but her performance during the third place match sealed her name on this trophy.

Japan took the Fair Play Award, having accumulated just two yellow cards over six matches.

And for awesome news off the pitch –

Haiti didn’t get a point here at their maiden tournament but they did score three goals and put this great news into motion:

Go Haiti!!

Third Place: France (0-2p) vs England (0-4p)

Come together
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Jump shot ready
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Pressure, mastered
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Intensity
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Victory
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POTM: Georgia Stanway ENG
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Final: Spain (1) vs Japan (3)
Attendance: 5,409
Location: Stade de la Rabine, Vannes

Tension
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Going for it
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Group hug time
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The third
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The anguish
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Captains can fly
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Winners
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POTM: Saori Takarada JPN
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– hopechaser

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