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Costa Rica will kick off the U-20 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday, the first major global event for national team soccer after covid-19, in a tournament where Japan will defend the title against threats from Brazil, Spain and the United States.

The Central American country will host, from August 10 to 28, the first World Cup for soccer teams to be held, in any of its categories, after the U-17 Men’s World Cup played in Brazil in 2019, the last one before of the arrival of the pandemic.

The Costa Rican event will be followed by the U-17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand and the World Cup in Qatar, the tournament expected by all soccer fans, after more than two and a half years without a World Cup.

The covid-19 was also the cause of the delay of this World Cup, which should have been held in 2020 in Costa Rica and Panama, which finally declined the organization due to the situation caused by the pandemic.

In total, 16 teams will seek the title in 32 games, to be played at the National Stadium in San José and at the Alejandro Morera Soto stadium, in Alajuela, northwest of the Costa Rican capital.

Brazil against Spain to whet your appetite

Brazil and Spain, two of the candidates to snatch the crown from Japan, will face each other on Wednesday at the opening of Group A, which also includes local Costa Rica and Australia.

The Iberians arrive as brand new champions of Europe and runners-up in the world. The Spanish coach, Pedro López, will have the strengths of Salma Paralluelo (FC Barcelona) and Fiamma Benítez (Valencia) in attack.

But Brazil arrives unbeatable, after overwhelming in the last South American Championship, where they won their ninth title in the region, undefeated and without conceding goals. However, the Brazilian coach, Jonas Urias, does not want trust.

Urias will seek glory with Gabriela Barbieri (International) in goal, Lauren Leal (Atlético de Madrid) in defence, Vitória ‘Yaya’ Ferreira (São Paulo) in midfield and Maria ‘Dudinha’ Rodrigues (São Paulo) in the attack.

On that first day, and for Group B, Germany will also face Colombia, from the attacker and runner-up of the Copa América for seniorsLinda Caicedo, and Mexico against New Zealand.

Japan, to defend the crown

Japan, the only women’s team that can boast of having won a World Cup In all categories, he will defend the title won in France-2018.

The Samurai Blue, with forward Yuzuki Yamamoto and midfielder Aemu Oyama, will seek glory again, but “without any pressure”, according to its technical director, Futoshi Ikeda, who believes that the key will be in the “environment” of each team and on how “quickly” the players develop during the tournament.

Japan will kick off Thursday against the Netherlands and the United States against Ghana in Group D, while France will play Nigeria and Canada will play South Korea in Group C.

Americans come to Costa Rica, after shining at the point of goals in the Concacaf pre-world championship, but with the anxiety of looking for a title they have not achieved for a decade.

France, with the promises Cyrielle Blanc (Montpellier), Laurina Fazer (PSG), Vicki Becho (Olympique de Lyon) and Hawa Sangare (PSG) will seek, at least, the semifinals reached four years ago.

Germany and the United States have three U-20 Women’s World Cups each, followed by North Korea with two and Japan with one.

Programming date 1 (Colombian time)

Wednesday, August 10

Alemania vs. Colombia – 12:00 p.m.

New Zealand vs. Mexico – 3:00 p.m.

Spain vs. Brazil – 6:00 pm

Thursday, August 11

Ghana vs. Argentina United States – 12:00 p.m

Japan vs. Netherlands – 3:00 p.m.

Francia vs. Nigeria – 6:00 p.m.

Canada vs. South Korea – 9:00 p.m.

The matches of this Women’s Under-20 World Cup can be followed live through Direct Sports.

With information from AFP.

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