October 26 – Defending champions Spain will take on Germany in an all-European semi-final of the U-17 Women’s World Cup as Colombia play Nigeria in the other last-four encounter.
The Nigerians eliminated the United States, who had impressed in the group stage, following a penalty shootout and they are Africa’s last representative in the competition. Tanzania were the revelation of the finals but fell in the last eight to Colombia.
The semi-final is unchartered territory for both Nigeria and Colombia, but they have met twice before at this level, with the Africans prevailing on both occasions.
“We have a saying in Colombia, it says third time lucky,” said Colombia coach Carlos Paniagua at a news conference.
“This is going to be our lucky time. This team as a whole is in high spirits, and motivated and does not want to let go of this beautiful opportunity to make it to the final. We have travelled so far away from our country and our dream is to return home with the World Cup.”
The Colombians will be counting on their standout player Linda Caicedo to reach the final. For Spain, Vicky Lopez has been instrumental throughout the tournament and while the reigning champions are the favourites going into the Germany match, they are not taking things lightly.
“We are looking forward to an intense match,” said Germany assistant coach Julia Simic. “We played them twice already, including a friendly and the European final. It was an intense match in the European final for me as a coach as well as the players.”
The winners will play in the final of the tournament on October 30 at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. FIFA president Gianni Infantino will be in attendance.
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