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Dutch delight and a successful comeback  – FIFA on GBP Sports

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018


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  • Hosts France held to draw by New Zealand
  • The Netherlands sparkle again to reach quarter-finals
  • Defending champions Korea DPR bounce back with a win​

THE DAY REPLAYED – The Netherlands became the first team to book their ticket to the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 following the second round of matches in Groups A and B on Wednesday. The Dutch eased into the last eight, thanks to a comfortable victory over Ghana, who must now pack their bags for home. Tournament hosts France suffered a minor setback after being held to a goalless draw by New Zealand.

There is still all to play for in Group B, where the section will not be decided until the final matchday. Korea DPR’s title defence hopes remain alive after bouncing back with a hard-fought victory over Mexico, while Brazil still have a chance of qualifying following their draw with England. Excitement is therefore guaranteed in the group finale on Sunday 12 August.

Results
Group A: Netherlands 4-0 Ghana | France 0-0 New Zealand
Group B: Brazil 1-1 England | Korea DPR 2-1 Mexico

Memorable moments

If stoppage time did not exist…
…then there would almost certainly have been tears in the Brazilian camp. They were 1-0 down for over 80 minutes and could find no way past a well-organised English defence or their inspired goalkeeper Sandy MacIver. At the end of the match, the South American champions had registered 21 shots on goal to England’s six, and only managed to equalise with their very last attack of the game.

Following in the seniors’ footsteps
The Netherlands maintained their fine form in their second match of the tournament to send a clear statement of intent to their competitors at France 2018. The U-20s have now won both of their group fixtures so far, a feat the senior team also managed at UEFA EURO 2017, where they went on to become just the fourth country to be crowned European champions. Perhaps the juniors can tread that same path and become the fourth nation to lift the U-20 Women’s World Cup title after Germany, USA and Korea DPR. The foundations have already been laid…

History not repeating itself
Mexico faced the defending champions in the group stage of a World Cup for the second time this summer. Yet, while the senior men’s team got the better of Germany at the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ in Russia, the U-20 women’s side could not follow suit against Korea DPR in Dinan-Lehon. The one consolation for El Tri is that the East Asian side were unable to repeat the high-scoring victories of the past against the North Americans, having won 4-0 at Russia 2006 and 5-1 at Chile 2008.

The words
“Even though we conceded the first goal, it was a chance to get even more confidence in ourselves and recover as soon as possible. I think this match could be a kind of turning point for us to claim an even bigger victory in the match against Brazil [on Sunday].”
Korea DPR midfielder Kim Pom-Ui

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Thursday 9 August

Group C
Spain vs Japan, Concarneau, 16:30 (local time)
USA vs Paraguay, Concarneau, 19:30 (local time)

Group D
China PR vs Germany, Saint-Malo, 13:30 (local time)
Haiti vs Nigeria, Saint-Malo, 16:30 (local time)

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Netherlands fire four past Ghana – FIFA on GBP Sports

Netherlands moved to within touching distance of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 quarter-finals after earning a 4-0 win over Ghana to maintain their 100 per cent start in Group A.

While the West Africans started brightly, it didn’t take long for the Netherlands to get into gear. Two spurned chances could have rocked their confidence, but they didn’t have to dwell on them long, going ahead on 21 minutes.

Three goals in 11 minutes put them in complete control, with Aniek Nouwen’s downward header at the back post getting the debutants rolling on the back of their slender win over New Zealand.

Having netted in their opener, Fenna Kalma made no mistake when put through by the Victoria Pelova, before converting with superbly taken volley to see her move joint-top of the scoring charts.

The pace dropped after the break, with the Netherlands sitting comfortably, but Pelova and Kalma switched rolls as the duo exchanged passes before the former stroked home to add some gloss to the Oranje’s victory. Ghana need a favour from New Zealand against hosts France to keep their hopes of progression alive.

“Dare To Shine” Player of the Match: Fenna Kalma (NED)

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Hamren takes charge at Iceland – FIFA on GBP Sports

Former Sweden head coach Erik Hamren has been revealed as the new Iceland manager. The Football Association of Iceland formally introduced the 61-year-old at a press conference on Wednesday.

With a population of just 335,000, Iceland became the smallest nation to reach the FIFA World Cup™ when they qualified for Russia 2018. They earned a credible draw in their global finals opener against Lionel Messi’s Argentina, before bowing out at the group stage after losses to Nigeria and eventual finalists Croatia.

After Iceland’s qualification for UEFA EURO 2016 and later Russia 2018, Hamren has announced his intent to keep the nation’s momentum of advancing to major tournaments going.

“I’m coming into a new country and new team,” said Hamren. “It’s important that I won’t change everything. We have to hold onto the things that have worked well in the past. My aim is to take Iceland to their third major finals in a row. I believe we can do it.”

Hamren was previously in charge of the Swedish national team for seven years. He oversaw Blagult at back-to-back European Championships in 2012 and 2016.

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Women’s coaches back among The Best – FIFA on GBP Sports

The Best FIFA Football Awards™


  • ​Four candidates earning their second The Best FIFA Women’s Coach nomination
  • Never before has anyone been nominated twice for the award
  • Continental champions and a double winner among returning names

To be among The Best is a great achievement. To repeat it, though, is something truly special. Maintaining success is a feat only the highest performers in football realise and it always deserves recognition.

Up until this year’s third instalment of The Best FIFA Women’s Coach Award, no individual had ever earned the honour of two nominations for the award. However, this year that changed.

We take a look at the four familiar names on the shortlist for 2018 and how they’ve managed to stay at the top of the women’s game. And you can have your say in who walks away with the award on 24 September in London by voting for your favourite coach before midnight CEST on 10 August.

See also



VOTE: The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2018





© Getty Images

Emma Hayes

Chelsea – Nominated 2017 and 2018

Having guided Chelsea to a dominant victory in the Women’s Super League Spring Series in 2017 – a transitional half-season campaign – with bags of goalscoring flare to earn her nomination 12 months ago, Hayes then repeated the feat with the Londoners across a full-length season. Hayes juggled pregnancy and a run to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals while clinching a league and cup double, winning the former without defeat.

The Quote

“While of course I want to influence other females in the game, more importantly I want to be renowned for being good tactically, being an outstanding coach who delivers well on the grass, who gets the best out of my players and who ultimately competes for titles year in, year out.”


© Getty Images

Vadao

Brazil – Nominated 2016 and 2018

Having led Brazil to the semi-finals of the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament at Rio 2016, which helped earn him his nomination two years ago, Vadao parted company with the Seleção. However, just over a year later he was back and maintained Brazil’s sky-high expectations in the Copa America Feminina in April, winning seven out of seven games, leaving with a plus-29 goal difference and clinching their spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

The Stat

0 – Before his first stint in charge of Brazil, Vadao had never taken the helm of a women’s team. Across a career of almost 30 years, he is a true journeyman of Brazilian football, coaching the likes of Sao Paulo, Atletico Paranaense and Goias, to name but a few, in the nation’s top flight.


© Getty Images

Martina Voss-Tecklenburg

Switzerland – Nominated 2016 and 2018

Excelling in qualification has been the backbone of Martina Voss-Tecklenburg’s nominations. After guiding Switzerland to their first Women’s World Cup, a storming run to the UEFA Women’s EURO 2017 earned her a spot on the shortlist in 2016. Now, on the road to France 2019, Voss-Tecklenburg – who will become Germany coach next month – has achieved another near-perfect campaign, securing six straight wins to put them on the brink of a return to the global showpiece.

The Stat

23 – Since 2013, Voss-Tecklenburg has not lost a single qualifier for a major tournament, racking up an incredible 23 wins from 24 games. The only minor blemish on her record en-route to Canada 2015, EURO 2017 and France 2019 was a 1-1 draw with Denmark.


© Getty Images

Sarina Wiegman

Netherlands – Nominated 2017 and 2018

The current holder of The Best FIFA Women’s Coach trophy, Sarina Wiegman has been riding the crest of an Oranje wave over the past year. Guiding her impressive Netherlands side to continental glory on home soil just two years after making their Women’s World Cup debut led to Wiegman clinching her personal accolade in 2017. Having shared the Algarve Cup title, the unbeaten Dutch now just need a point in their upcoming qualifier against Norway to return to the world finals.

The Quote

“We have a life before the Euros and a life after the Euros. We want to keep up with that and we want to keep on performing well.”

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The Best nominees in numbers – FIFA on GBP Sports

The Best FIFA Football Awards™


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  • How many lefties were nominated?
  • Which nominated coaches won the most caps as players?
  • Did Kane, Messi, Ronaldo or Salah score more goals in 2017/18?

There is one figure you must keep your eyes on: 23:59 CET on Friday. That is the last point at which you will be able to cast your votes for for The Best FIFA Football Awards™ before this stage of voting closes. 

In the meantime, FIFA.com delivers you ten statistics on the nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Women’s Player, Men’s Coach and Women’s Coach honours.

100 per cent of The Best FIFA Men’s Player nominees scored at the recent FIFA World Cup™. Seven of the ten played in the Russia 2018 semi-finals, with Mo Salah suffering group-stage elimination and Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo going out at the Round of 16.

See also



VOTE: The Best FIFA Men’s Player 2018




60 per cent of The Best FIFA Women’s Player nominees come from Olympique Lyonnais, who took 64 points from a possible 66 en route to the French Division 1 Féminine title and beat Wolfsburg 4-1 after extra-time in a pulsating UEFA Women’s Champions League final. Another, Megan Rapinoe, used to play for Les Lyonnaises.

54 goals is what Cristiano Ronaldo scored for club and country between 3 July 2017 and 15 July 2018 – narrowly the highest total among nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Player. The Portuguese was followed by Harry Kane (52), Lionel Messi (52), Mo Salah (50), Antoine Griezmann (37) and Kylian Mbappe (29).

See also



VOTE: The Best FIFA Women’s Player 2018




30 years is the age difference between the oldest and youngest nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Coach: Portland Thorns’ Mark Parsons, 31, and 61-year-old Vadao of Brazil. Just nine years and ten months exist between the most junior and senior nominees for The Best FIFA Men’s Coach: Roberto Martinez, 45, and 54-year-old Stanislav Cherchesov.

13 years and ten-and-a-half months is the whopping age difference between Kylian Mbappe, 19, and 33-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo. Mbappe was merely seven years old when Ronaldo was first shortlisted for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in October 2006.

9 nations are represented by the ten nominees for The Best FIFA Women’s Player: Australia, Brazil, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Japan, Norway and USA. France is the only country with more than one player: Amandine Henry and Wendie Renard.

See also



VOTE: The Best FIFA Men’s Coach 2018




5 of the 21 coaches nominated for The Best FIFA Football Awards won over 100 caps during their playing career: Martina Voss-Tecklenburg (125), Zinedine Zidane (108), Diego Simeone (106), Sarina Wiegman (104) and Didier Deschamps (103). Ten of the 21 went uncapped at international level: Massimiliano Allegri. Zlatko Dalic, Emma Hayes, Jurgen Klopp, Stephan Lerch, Roberto Martinez, Mark Parsons, Alen Stajcic, Vadao and Jorge Vilda.

3 of The Best FIFA Men’s Player nominees are predominantly left-footed: Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Mo Salah. Just one of The Best FIFA Women’s Player nominees is more comfortable with her left: Marta. Approximately two out ten people are left-footed.

2 nations have representatives nominated for all four of The Best FIFA Men’s Player, Women’s Player, Men’s Coach and Women’s Coach awards: England and France. Harry Kane, Lucy Bronze, Gary Southgate, Emma Hayes and Mark Parsons are the shortlisted English, while Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe, Raphael Varane, Amandine Henry, Wendie Renard, Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane and Reynald Pedros gave France an unparalleled eight representatives.

See also



VOTE: The Best FIFA Women’s Coach 2018




1 defensive player – centre-back Raphael Varane – is all that made the ten-man shortlist for The Best FIFA Men’s Player. Four defenders or defensive midfielders – Lucy Bronze, Amandine Henry, Saki Kumagai and Wendie Renard – made the women’s equivalent.

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New Zealand’s pint-sized Satchell on a French mission – FIFA on GBP Sports

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018


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  • New Zealand’s Paige Satchell returned from serious injury in time for France 2018
  • The Kiwis face Ghana and the host nation in their remaining matches
  • The pacy winger is aiming to return to France for next year’s Women’s World Cup

Small in stature, but big in heart. It may seem a one-dimensional cliché, but that aptly describes New Zealand’s jet-heeled winger Paige Satchell.

As a school student, Satchell was a national cross-country champion. That achievement, however, came only after keeping a silver medal from the previous year on view as motivation for a greater reward. Told she could have time off after her win, Satchell chose instead to be back on the track the very next day.

Fast forward to the present and that unwavering spirit remains. Willowy and light-framed, Satchell plays football with dogged determination, while her speed and endurance catch many an opponent by surprise.

After a year out with a torn knee ligament, Satchell returned just in time for New Zealand’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France. The 20-year-old right-sided forward will be aiming to reprise her form of two years ago in Papua New Guinea, where she earned player of the match honours in a win over Ghana.

“It [the injury] definitely was a challenge,” Satchell told FIFA.com. “This is my first serious injury. It took a lot of hard work but a key thing for me was to keep a positive perspective.

“I used to watch my team play so that was a challenge for me, not being able to be on the pitch with them. But it was also a driving factor for me to keep going and to push to get back out there.”

With blinding pace and an ability to cause chaos to any defense, Satchell is a key weapon for the Kiwis at France 2018

New Zealand opened with a hard-fought 2-1 defeat against the Netherlands on the weekend. They now tackle France on Wednesday, before rounding out their group commitments against Ghana four days later. Coincidentally New Zealand faced both teams two years ago in Papua New Guinea and, their win over Ghana aside, the Kiwis pushed eventual runners-up France all the way before succumbing 2-0.

“I’m looking forward to this World Cup, hopefully making it out of the group stage and showing the world what New Zealand has got,” Satchell said.

“The highlight [two years ago] was the win against Ghana which was very exciting for the team. It was my first win on the world stage so it was one to remember.”

Despite her tender years, Satchell has already accrued significant experience. She debuted for New Zealand’s senior side just weeks after celebrating her 18th birthday, and was a travelling reserve for the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Aside from PNG 2016, there were also three matches at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

“Every game we have at this level is an experience and a learning opportunity,” added Satchell. “Playing against those tough teams taught me so much, and I’m hoping to bring those experiences into this tournament.

“Watching the younger ones step up is awesome, and equally being able to help guide them on this journey is really nice.”

Proudly hailing from Rotorua, Satchell is on course to be a sporting champion for the tourist town which is more famous for a spectacular geyser and its bubbling mud pools.

Already with a handful of senior caps to her credit, Satchell is aiming to return to France next year for the FIFA Women’s World Cup™. Despite her major injury set-back few would bet against it.

“That is a big goal of mine and it is something I’m working really hard towards.

“We have had a great time so far here in France. France is a beautiful country and I really want to come back here next year.”

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World Cup record-holder El Hadary says farewell – FIFA on GBP Sports

Less than two months after setting a FIFA World Cup™ record, Egypt’s veteran goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has announced his retirement from international football.

At 45, El Hadary became the oldest player in World Cup history when he played against Saudi Arabia at Russia 2018. Although Egypt lost the match, El Hadary saved a first-half penalty in the nation’s return to the World Cup stage following a 28-year absence.

El Hadary, who debuted for the Pharaohs in 1996, won four CAF Africa Cup of Nations.

“I am very proud to have played with the national team in 159 internationals, participating in unprecedented achievements,” El Hadary said on Monday.

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Spain impress, as Haiti make their bow – FIFA on GBP Sports

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2018


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  • Spain impress on their first outing at France 2018
  • Japan and Germany see off USA and Nigeria, respectively
  • Debutants Haiti score, but lose their opening match to China PR

THE DAY REPLAYED – As was the case in Sunday’s opening matches in Groups A and B, there was plenty of entertainment, suspense and goals, as Groups C and D of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 got underway. Japan edged out USA 1-0 and Germany did likewise against Nigeria, while reigning European U-19 champions Spain saw off Paraguay, thanks to the inspirational Patri Guijarro, who scored the first hat-trick of the competition. In the day’s other game, Haiti scored their first-ever goal at a FIFA Women’s World Cup competition, though it was not enough to prevent them from going down 2-1 to China PR.

Results
Group C: Paraguay 1-4 Spain | USA 0-1 Japan
Group D: Nigeria 0-1 Germany | Haiti 1-2 China PR

Memorable moments

Jessica ends her goal drought
A veteran of three FIFA competitions already, Paraguay forward Jessica Martinez ended her long wait for a goal on the big stage on Monday. A prolific scorer on the South American scene, she had failed to find the back of the net in those three previous tournaments, a record she finally set straight in pulling a goal back for her side 62 minutes into their meeting with Spain. However, the day belonged to Spanish goal machine Patri Guijarro, who struck three to double her career world finals haul.

Germany do it again
The last U-20 Women’s World Cup meeting between Germany and Nigeria came at Canada 2014, when the Europeans downed the Falconets 1-0 to win the competition for a third time. There was a repeat scoreline four years on, as the two sides began their France 2018 campaigns, with Maren Meinert’s side prevailing by a solitary goal to maintain their unbeaten run against the West Africans.

Silver lining for Haiti
While the Haitians lost their very first match in a FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament, going down 2-1 to China PR, the Caribbean side had some cause for celebration when Nerilia Mondesir created a little piece of history by scoring from the penalty spot. Their supporters created a wonderful atmosphere in the stands in Saint-Malo, so much so that FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura felt compelled to go and dance with them.

The words
“We fought with everything we had and we managed to get what we came for. Everyone could see how much we wanted to win. We had a lot of fun on the pitch and I think it showed.”
Germany midfielder Giulia Gwinn, voted “Dare To Shine” Player of the Match

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Up next

Group C
Spain-Japan, Concarneau, 16.30 (local time)
USA-Paraguay, Concarneau, 19.30 (local time)

Group D
Germany-China PR, Saint-Malo, 13.30 (local time)
Haiti-Nigeria, Saint-Malo, 16.30 (local time)

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Dumonay: We want to take the next step – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Haiti suffered a narrow defeat in opening game
  • At just 14, Melchie Dumonay is the youngest member of the squad
  • All or nothing match against Nigeria is next

Haiti may have lost 2-1 to China PR in their opening match at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, but their fans nevertheless celebrated as if they had just won, singing and dancing to the beat of the drums. The players were cheered as they left the pitch and their path to the team bus was lined with waving flags amid a jubilant atmosphere.

Given that backdrop, Melchie Dumonay was almost able to smile despite the reverse. “Obviously it’s disappointing to lose,” she told FIFA.com. “You play to win. We set out to defend well and we showed the world that we could do it.”

Haiti very nearly pulled off a remarkable achievement. Often it was only a matter of centimetres – or that little bit of luck – that came between them and scoring. Dumonay, who is only 14, had a number of presentable chances but was unable to convert them into goals. However, the midfielder is not one to dwell on the past and is already focusing on the next game, when she will be counting on the fans’ support once again. 

“The crowd cheering us on was definitely a massive help,” she said. “That will push us forward in our next match and help us achieve our objective. We want to reach the next round.”

Not that Dumonay was giving anything away ahead of the next assignment. “I’m not going to reveal anything about our formation or tactics,” she said with a grin. “We came here to take the next step. Our win against Canada [a surprise 1-0 victory in the play-off for third-place at the CONCACAF U-20 Women’s Championship] was no accident. We’re going into the match against Nigeria looking to win and stay in this tournament.”

With the incredible support of their fans spurring them on, the Caribbean nation are capable of anything.

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Kalma’s team-first mentality making history for the Dutch  – FIFA on GBP Sports

  • Fenna Kalma scored a goal and registered an assist against New Zealand
  • The Netherlands secured their maiden win in the competition
  • Her coach and her father give their reactions to FIFA.com

In firing the Netherlands ahead in the 28th minute of their match against New Zealand in Vannes on Sunday, Fenna Kalma opened her account for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 and struck her country’s first ever goal in the competition. She then rounded off the complete performance 16 minutes from time, setting up team-mate Eva van Deursen for the goal that gave the Oranje their maiden U-20 women’s world finals victory.

“First match, three points. It’s perfect,” she told FIFA.com afterwards, attempting to deflect attention away from her contribution to the win. “Obviously, it’s great to score. I can hardly say otherwise. But the most important thing for me is to help the team. My assist gave me as much of a kick as the opening goal.”

As modest as she is talented, Kalma is a team player through and through, as her delighted coach Michel Kreek confirmed: “A goal and an assist: what more can you ask for from your striker? Fenna had a great game today. She did a lot of work for her team-mates, showing herself and supporting them, and she got back to defend too. It was a great performance.”

It came as no surprise to see Kalma hit the heights against the New Zealanders. Great things have been expected of the Heerenveen forward for a while now and her speed, build and goalscoring instincts have led some to liken her to Vivianne Miedema, a former striker at the club. “It’s always an honour to be compared to players like that,” said the talented Kalma, before again putting the team first and herself second. “But that’s not really what I’m looking for. I just want to be myself and to help my team as best I can.”

Arm in arm with his daughter, her father Klaas Fenna praised her efforts after the match: “I don’t know if she’s going to be a future star of the Netherlands but I do know that she’s a fantastic player. She really works hard at it and I’m happy she’s got her reward. I’m one very happy father, and it was a great moment for me when she scored. I’m delighted for her. I’m delighted for me obviously, but I’m especially delighted for her.”

Lauded by her coach, her father and her compatriots, Kalma’s self-effacing modesty was severely put to the test on Sunday.

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