2016 U-20 Women's World Cup - Day Six review: Who is through?

2016 U-20 Women's World Cup - Day Six review: Who is through?

The last stage of the group games has been thrilling with plenty more goals and with plenty more excitement ahead...

Katie Mishner

It has been an exciting couple of days for the U-20 Women's World Cup. The quarter finals are now all set up and ready to begin on Thursday November 24. That is all thanks to a thrilling last day in the group stage.

There will be two European rivalries ahead, in addition to another classic international derby...

Group C: New Zealand 0-2 France

Group C was highly anticipated with France and USA some of the favourites for the crown, but the fight that it became after the initial goalless draw between the top two sides. France finally put all worry to bed with a comprehensive victory over New Zealand.

France's number nine, Marie-Charlotte Leger, was poaching for a goal. She came close early on with a close range strike but a superb save from the safe hands Nadia Olla kept the game level. However, Les Bleus made their break just minutes later via the same striker.

The combination of poor marking and a smooth pass from Maelle Garbino, Leger cut through the box before rocketing a low ball, well out of reach from Olla and into the far corner of the net. 

Unfortunately for France and for Leger, her goal scoring would come to an end after she picked up an injury and left the field just before half time as the French were forced into an early substitution.

Precision paid off once again on the latter side of the 90 minutes as Clara Mateo took advantage of a deflection from captain Meikayla Moor. She angled the ball just high enough to be out of reach for Olla, and struck it with enough force to send ripples across the back of the net.

Conceding so early into the second half knocked New Zealand who could feel their time in Papa New Guinea coming to the end as their opposition continued to dominate possession.

France will now meet European rivals Germany in the quarter finals, a fixture neither of the sides would have wanted but one the spectators will certainly enjoy.

USA 1-1 Ghana

USA, who matched France's points and goal difference, take the top spot due to a better disciplinary record. They had the opportunity to grab that spot via point differences, but instead walked into a tough game that resulted in stalemate.

The game was hard fought for both sides as they both had their fair share of opportunities to steal all three points. First up with a chance to go ahead was U-17 WWC star and captain Ashley Sanchez, who fired a low ball just wide of Victoria Agyei's post.

Despite USA being the strong favourites for this game, Ghana were the first to make a statement. Ernestina Abambila launched a speculative ball from around 35 yards out on her first touch, whether it was a shot or a pass is a mystery. However, the element of surprise worked. It caught out goalkeeper Casey Murphy, the best she could do was fumble it into the net.

Captain Mallory Pugh was quick with the response. Two minutes later as a composed team handed her the reigns, she carved the ball from the flanks and into position to initate attack just outside the box. The skipper was left unfazed by the cluster of defenders coming for her, coolly releasing the ball which eased by the three defenders and bobbled over Ageyi's reach.

Pugh was a menace in the second half able to tear down the wing and deliver threatening balls. The Black Princesses dealt well with the attack and it was in fact their team with the best chance of tipping the draw. Sandra Owusu-Ansah battled into the US box but could only watch their three point hopes leap over the bar. 

The US U-20 squad are now set to have their very own Dos A Cero with Mexico in the next stage of the tournament, a juicy fixture coming right off the back of the men's derby - not to mention the political climate.

Group D: Korea Republic 0-2 Germany

Germany were the second team, after Korea DPR, to finish a perfect run in the group stages of the tournament. Their 2-0 victory over Korea Republic saw them take all nine points into the next stage.

Two goals on the inside of the first half locked their top spot status in. The first will be in contention for goal of the tournament. Dina Orschmann weaved in and out of the defence for fun, her tricky footwork and clever movements leaving the crowd in awe. Then to add to the showboating, she smashed the ball in from a tight angle. Kim Minjung was helpless in this situation.

Just over 10 minutes after the first goal, Germany stunned Korea Republic once again in the same corner of the goal. The Germans opted for a team effort this time, as opposed to Orschmann's stunning solo run. Anna Gerhardt used her pace to get down the wing, timing her cross to Madeline Gier perfectly. The number 10 employed an intelligent stepover to set up Stefanie Sanders who put the ball to bed from mere yards away, no questions asked.

Despite Korea Republic needing to better Mexico's result, they faltered as the Germans pushed on aggressively. They wanted to keep adding to their tally. The South Koreans had no choice but to sit back and defend the German's run, restricting them from making any progress in the game they were already down in.

Venezuela 2-3 Mexico

The two Latin teams closed the group games with a five goal thriller, Mexico being the team to come out on top. Venezuela may bow out of their tricky group, but what they have achieved this year has been huge for their development of the sport.

Mexico started the proceedings with a very early goal. El Tricolor star Maria Sanchez delivered a perfectly curled cross into the box, Kiana Palacios was there to gently tip it over the line off of her head - jut four minutes into the game.

Barely six minutes later the number nine was on target again. Worming her way through defence, she let herself into space in the box and hit an unstoppable ball which landed into the side of the netting.

Sanchez went close again before the break with a superb strike from her outside of her boot, unfortunately it swung just a little too high and hit the crossbar.

Mexico may have been finished for the first half, but they were not done yet.  

Teresa Gonzalez was there to pick up a loose ball, as Franyely Rodriguez could not gets hands to it, slotting it over the line to give her side a 3 goal advantage. 

Panic did not set in for Venezuela even though it looked like their opponents were cruising into the quarter finals. They displayed the character that their team is becoming renowned for. 

They came down from 3-0 to almost level the playing field. Venezuela's first came two minutes after Mexico's last. Gabriela Garcia utilised her height and incredible strength to win the ball and head home the first of the resurgence.

Shortly after Garcia's goal, Vimarest Diaz came close to adding a second goal as her tap in hit the bar, that would have potentially been a game changer. Venezuela looked organised while Mexico were stunned by the comeback. 

With just seven minutes to go and with there almost being nothing strictly left to play for, ​ Lourdes Moreno scored the last goal of the competition for the Vinotinto - with thanks to goalscorer Garcia's incisive pass.

Mexico may leave the stadium as victors but Venezuela will be the side most remembered in this game.