Day of shattered dreams


AFTER two highly-entertaining matches, the semi-final line-up of the Under-20 Women’s World Cup is complete.
Mexico were on the verge of a shock win over three-time champions USA but succumbed to a heartbreaking defeat in a dramatic finale, while Germany’s dream of defending their title was dashed by a strong France side.
Results – Quarterfinals: USA 2-1 Mexico, Germany 0-1 France
Goal of the day
Germany-France (Delphine Cascarino) This goal was not only decisive, it was also a thing of beauty.
Playing a short corner, France’s captain Cascarino collected the ball from Louise Fleury, stormed into the box and fired an unstoppable drive into the far corner. Germany’s goalkeeper Carina Schluter could only look on helpless as it flew by.
Memorable moments Substitutes strike: The US prevailed on Friday to reach the last four was down to the impact of their substitutes. Kelcie Hedge and Ally Watt entered the fray midway through the second-half and both found the net to turn the game in the US’ favour. It was another example of coach Michelle French’s knack for making inspired substitutions; in the group game against New Zealand, Watt also scored just minutes after coming on to seal a 3-1 victory.
Family first: The last-eight clash against Mexico was a special encounter for Sabrina Flores. After sitting on the bench for the previous three games, the defender made her first appearance of the tournament, against none other than bitter rivals Mexico, who had her twin sister Monica in their line-up.
During the 90 minutes, the two Flores appeared to put aside all the fuss concerning the “battle of the sisters”, but after the final whistle and the US’ dramatic last-minute win, they both let their pent-up emotions out.
The inconsolable Monica wept uncontrollably as she collapsed into her sister’s arms, while Sabrina, instead of celebrating with her team, attempted with all her strength to console Monica. It was evidence of an unbreakable family bond.
Chavas’ wondersave: Anna Gerhardt came close to scoring a screamer of her own against France, only to be denied in spectacular fashion. France’s Mylene Chavas used all of her agility to tip the Germany left-back’s drive from distance onto the crossbar, leaving Gerhardt, and the spectators, shaking their heads in disbelief.
The stat 5 Friday’s quarterfinal between Germany and France was the fifth time that the two nations have met at a World Cup. Only Germany and the US (seven) have played one another more often at the tournament.
The words “I spoke to the girls and reminded them that we put in a great performance and can depart with our heads held high. A lot of people said we wouldn’t get out of the group. The coach is proud of us because we never stopped fighting.
We have a bright future ahead.” Nancy Antonio, Mexico captain –

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