2016 U-20 Women's World Cup Preview: Semi finals

Depending on how the semi-finals pan out, the U-20 WWC could be set for an all-Asian final but only if they can get past their elite opponents.

2016 U-20 Women's World Cup Preview: Semi finals
Image credit: Getty Images

The semi finals have arrived in the U-20 Women's World Cup and there are not many surprises but there is the prospect of an all Asian final is looming. That would mimic exactly how the U-17 Women's World Cup panned out in Jordan earlier this year.

Korea DPR vs USA

Both Korea DPR and USA endured tough tests to get through to the semi-finals of the competition, alas they are part of the last four and set to face each other.

Both semi finalists are the only teams left in the tournament that have lifted the trophy as Germany were knocked out of the tournament in the quarter finals.

The mismatch of footballing styles will make for an exciting game as the Asian side holds all the tactical cards while the Americans are more physical, pacey and aggressive on the pitch. 

They both possess attacking, the USA with Mallory Pugh and Ashley Sanchez and DPR with Ri Hyang Sim. However, when it comes to picking out players to mark and monitor, North Korea are superior. They displayed their ability to close down  in their quarters clash with Spain.

Korea DPR will be seeking vengeance when they meet with the USA again, having lost out to them in the final of the 2008 edition of this tournament.

Though they had their revenge in Canada 2014, beating the states on penalties in the quarter finals, it did not quite make up for losing out on the finals.

Putting the history of both times to the side, USA statistically have not performed as well as their semi final opponents thus far. Korea DPR have a perfect record and have not even drawn a game yet. But they both had to scrape their wins late on, against Mexico and Brazil, in order to get to this stage.

Japan vs France

This is the second time that both teams have been in the semi-finals in this level of tournament but neither team has won the U-20 WWC title in their campaigns.

In Japan's last match again Brazil, they delivered the best performance in terms of statistics, while subjectively France served up an incredible win over  holders Germany in the quarters - sending them home. Though it is usually Japan who are the stand out all-rounders, Les Bluettes are certainly giving them a run for their money with their ultra strong defensive line, while also being able to score goals.

Japan had the least narrow win in the quarter finals, easily outclassing their opponents with the usual tiki taka action. Going forward they are a force, having the mosts shots and shots on target in the entire competition - 9 and 11 more than France, respectively.

France have been knocked out two years consecutively by the team who went on to lift the trophy and being so close to the final they should be looking to break out of this pattern and even go on and win the trophy for themselves. For the French they have a no longer secret weapon in Delphine Cascarano who, alongside goalkeeper Mylene Chavas, has been instrumental in getting her team back to the stage. The Lyon player has largely conducted the midfielding play through pin point passing, intelligent runs and tricky dribbles, as well as being able to score herself.

Clara Mateo and Mama Ueno are the top goal scorers for her team with Ueno scoring two more than the French striker. However, Japan may have an impressive attacking record, France have a superior defence. Chavas has a higher save rate than any other keeper, by a pretty large margin, preventing 86.7% of all the shots fired at her.

This is the first time that the two sides have met, it will be a tough test for both as the teams both bring different elements that make them each a threat to one another. Add in the high pressure environment of a World Cup semi final and there is the makings of an incredibly exciting penultimate stage game.