The 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup has reached the semi-finals, and you can catch all of the action from the final games this week on SBS.
After a thrilling quarter-final round demonstrated why all four teams are still in contention for World Cup glory, Spain will face Germany and Nigeria will face Colombia for a spot in the final next Monday (AEDT) at the Dr DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai.
Colombia is in the midst of a historic run at the U-17 Women’s World Cup, having advanced from the group stages for the first time before routing quarter-final opponents Tanzania 3-0 to advance to a semi-final clash with Nigeria.
Linda Caicedo, the tournament’s joint-top scorer who has scored four goals in three games and is an electric prospect in women’s football, has been a huge reason for the nation’s newfound success at the tournament.
Highlights from the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Quarter-Final match between Colombia and Tanzania
Caicedo only needed three minutes to score against Tanzania in torrential rain, navigating the conditions with ease and delivering the most effortless of chip finishes to set the tone and send her country into the final four.
Caicedo will look to continue her scintillating form against Nigeria as the figurehead of Colombia’s dream run, having already scored twice at the U20 Women’s World Cup earlier this year to go along with her fantastic performances in India.
Nigeria, who have competed in every edition of the U-17 Women’s World Cup except 2018, stunned the highly favored USA to advance to the semi-finals.
Forward Amina Bello led the group stage in assists with three, before drawing a penalty to give the African side the crucial advantage in the quarter-finals.
The Nigerians held their opponents, who had scored 13 goals in the group stage, to only one goal in a dramatic penalty shootout that ended 4-3.
Nigeria will look to replicate their defensive effort against Colombia and halt their goal-scoring form from an important win against Chile on matchday 3, which gave them second place in Group B.
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The defending champions will face Germany in the semi-finals, hoping to become only the second nation to win two U-17 Women’s World Cup titles, and they certainly have the talent to do so.
After falling behind to a brilliant long-range Momoko Tanikawa strike after 66 minutes, Vicky Lopez, a recent Barcelona Femini signing, was the hero in Spain’s quarter-final win over Japan, scoring the equalizer in the 87th minute and the winner in stoppage time.
Lopez is quickly emerging as one of the best young talents in women’s football, demonstrating her talent on the international stage following an incredible domestic 2021-22 season for Real Madrid’s women’s youth team, in which she scored 60 goals in just 17 games.
While they haven’t dominated their competition, they did beat final four rival Colombia 1-0 in the group stage, a result that will boost their confidence if they beat Germany and the latter beats Nigeria.
Germany’s best finish at the U-17 Women’s World Cup was third in 2008, and they return to the semi-finals in a strong position to beat Spain and reach the final.
After knocking Brazil out in the quarter-finals in 2012, Die Nationalelf repeated the feat, winning 2-0 thanks to goals from Marie Steiner and Melina Kruger.
Along with quarter-finalist Steiner and Kruger, Germany adds more firepower to their match against Spain with forward Loreen Bender, who is tied for third in the tournament’s golden boot race with three goals so far.
As Germany dominated Group B en route to a semi-final berth, Bender netted a brace in a 3-1 win over New Zealand and was among the rampant scoring in a 6-0 thrashing of Chile.
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