PARIS, Brazil drew England 1-1 through a stoppage-time goal in Group B to stay alive at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday.
Debutants Netherlands became the first side in Group A to have secured a quarter-final berth with two consecutive victories.
Brazil, one of four teams having never missed the tournament so far, lost their opening round to Mexico. The regular faces went from bad to worse after conceding a penalty converted by Georgia Stanway in the 11th minute, and failed to claw back from the deficit until the stoppage time.
Substitute Ariadina Borges grabbed the spotlight as her low shot beat Sandy MacIver, earning Brazil a crucial point to remain alive in the tournament.
Defending champions DPR Korea timely regrouped themselves after a shocking first-round loss and beat Mexico 2-1 in the other Group B match.
Jacqueline Ovalle broke the deadlock for Mexico in the 12th minute, but that was cancelled out by Choe Kum Ok two minutes later. Kim Kyong Yong’s late header finally saved the current title holders.
England sat atop the group with four points. Mexico were ahead of DPR Korea on goal difference. Brazil, snatching one point in two games, didn’t see their door to qualification shut off either.
In Group A, Netherlands took control of the match against Ghana with three goals in a span of 11 minutes.
After Aniek Nouwen opened Netherlands’ scoring, Fenna Kalma finished a brace to put her team beyond reach after 32 minutes into the match. Victoria Pelova capped the debutants’ scoring extravaganza of the day with 10 minutes from time.
Facing New Zealand, hosts France failed to capitalize their winning margin in attempts and ball possession, with unmarked Emelyne Laurent seeing her shot over the crossbar in the 58th minute.
Netherlands muscled their way into the final eight with a 100 percent record in two matches. France, to face Netherlands in concluding group round action, also took the upper hand in qualifying with four points.
New Zealand were placed third with one point, while Ghana were effectively eliminated from the tournament with two losses.
Attention will be turned to second-round matches in Group C and Group D on Thursday. Following their 2-1 victory over Haiti, China will challenge three-time winners Germany.
Source: Ghana News Agency