The stage is set between Japan and Spain for the U-17 World Cup Women’s Finals to be held this Saturday in Costa Rica. Japan breezed through Venezuela in the first semifinals match with a 4-1 score while Spain knocked off Italy from the running with a 2-0 win through penalty kicks.
A favorite to bring home the title, Japan has not lost a match in the entire tournament and it remains to be seen if Spain can finally break their winning streak. Japan has not conceded a single goal in its group stage matches, but allowed Venezuela to sink one through in the dying minutes of the semis. Despite a close opening game against Spain, with a 2-0 score, Japan proceeded to thrash Paraguay, 10-0 and beat New Zealand, 3-0. Even Mexico bowed to Japan, 2-0 in the quarterfinals. Japan was leading 4-0 until Venezuela netted a goal in the 92nd minute. Spain on the other hand, recovered well after losing their first match against Japan. It beat New Zealand, 3-0 and Paraguay, 7-1 in the group stage then emerged victorious in the quarters, with a 3-0 win over Nigeria.
While this is not the first time Japan has reached the finals in the World Cup, both are looking to take home the trophy for the first time. Japan lost to South Korea in the finals of the 2010 World Cup held in Trinidad and Tobago while Spain finished third place the same year. This is the first time Costa Rica has hosted the FIFA-event and both semifinal matches held at the Edgardo Baltodano Briceno Stadium were sold out. The finals match will be held on Friday, 5 p.m. (Saturday, 830am local time) at the National Stadium in west San Jose.
[via The Tico Times]
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