Sun 30th October saw the u17 Women’s World Cup Third Place Match, and the Final, in India
What Happened In The Semi Finals?
When Nigeria faced Colombia in the semi final, neither of them had ever made it to that stage of the competition before. Despite both teams coming close, nothing could separate them, and so it went to penalties. Colombia came off the victors in the end, winning 6-5 on penalties.
Reigning champions Spain would be the opponents for Colombia in the Final. They beat Germany 1-0 to book their place in the Final. Lucía Corrales Álvarez poked home a neat finish in the last minute of the game - only the third goal Germany had conceded in the whole tournament.
Third Place Match: Nigeria v Germany
Earlier on in the day, Nigeria played Germany in the match for 3rd place. Germany did have some very good chances in the first half, but they found themselves 1-0 down at half time, after Opeyemi Esther Ajakaye squeezed the ball just past the German goalkeeper.
Bello gave Nigeria a second, shortly into the second half, before substitute Etim volleyed in a third that was just too strong for Böettcher.
Germany didn’t just sit back though. Alber’s cross found Veit and the captain headed in a goal for Germany.
There was then a lengthy check for Germany’s second, as Paulina Bartz looked to be offside, but the goal was eventually given, leaving Germany just enough time to get back into it.
Just like they have done so many times in the tournament, Germany came back. Jansson’s shot rattled off the crossbar before Bender scored an outrageous overhead kick to bring Germany back level as the game entered injury time.
There were chances for both teams to win it, but it would have been cruel, and this game deserved a penalty shootout.
Nigeria got their fairytale moment. Omilana saved Bartz’s penalty to win it for the African side. It meant heartbreak for Germany but that achievement for women’s football in Nigeria cannot go underestimated.
The Final: Colombia v Spain
Spain had the best of the chances in the first half but nothing too worrisome to trouble Colombian keeper Luisa Agudelo.
Spain thought they had broken the deadlock early in the first half, when Librán bundled her shot into the net, but after a lengthy VAR check it was ruled out for a handball.
Spain did eventually break the deadlock with another late goal. It was an unfortunate one for Colombia. Jiménez’s shot went in off Guzmán - who could do nothing to get out of the way in time to stop it being an own goal.
Colombia nearly went back up the other end and equalised after Spain’s goal, but the Spanish defence held strong.
Jiménez nearly got a goal for herself, but her long range effort just rattled the crossbar as the game entered injury time.
Colombia did have two shouts for penalties in the game, both involving collisions with Spanish goalkeeper Sofía Fuente Andrés, but nothing came off them.
It was not to be the dream ending for Colombia. but they can take pride in reaching the final for the first time in their history.
Today was Spain’s day. Despite the troubles with their first team, Spain have retained their u17 world title, which they won in Uruguay in 2018, and added to the u20 title they won earlier in the year in Costa Rica.