Canada’s Women’s U-20 team was drawn into position B2 at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 final draw, setting the stage for a challenging group stage.
This will be the eighth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and will take place in Papua New Guinea between 13 November and 3 December 2016, marking Canada’s seventh appearance in the world’s most important women’s youth soccer competition.
“I think it’s an exciting draw for us,” said Canada Soccer’s Women’s U-20 Coach Daniel Worthington. “There is a nice blend of teams and this will give our players the kind of experience we are looking for. There are some really strong teams in this group – teams we want to play against. Spain is up and coming at the youth level with a nice brand of football, Japan is a creative team with co-ordinated movement maximizing their strengths of individual mobility and team coordination, and Nigeria is really an African powerhouse with a very athletic style of play.”
Canada is looking toward to the tough competition in Papua New Guinea. Japan is the reigning FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Champion, with Spain as the runner-up, and Nigeria came second in the last edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that was hosted in Canada in 2014.
“Our goal is to give our players the opportunity to play at the top level, and this tournament will let us do that,” said Worthington. “These big international competitions help Canadian players build resilience as they continue on their development path to the Women’s National Team. We’ve got six players in the current Women’s National Team pool who played in the last U-20 world cup, and that is a Gold Medal Standard staging post where they got the experience to be able to accelerate their positional development. This tournament is where the next generation of Women’s National Team players will get to hone their skill sets and build confidence, on the way to becoming the next Sinclair or Buchanan.”
The groups for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 were drawn as follows:
A1 – Papua New Guinea (hosts)
A2 – Brazil
A3 – Sweden
A4 – Korea DPR
B1 – Spain
B2 – Canada
B3 – Japan
B4 – Nigeria
C1 – France
C2 – USA
C3 – Ghana
C4 – New Zealand
D1 – Germany
D2 – Venezuela
D3 – Mexico
D4 – Korea Republic
Canada hosted the last edition of the tournament in 2014, reaching the quarterfinals before succumbing to the eventual winners Germany in Edmonton. Germany went on to win the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 by beating Nigeria in a 1–0 nail biter in Montreal. France took home bronze, beating Korea DPR in the third place match.
Canada qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 after placing second at the 2015 CONCACAF Women’s Under-20 Championship, finishing runners up to USA after a narrow 0-1 defeat in the 13 December Final Match in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Canada won the CONCACAF Fair Play Trophy while both Bianca St-Georges and Sarah Stratigakis were named to the tournament’s Best XI.
The final draw for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Papua New Guinea, which decided where and against which teams the 16 participants will play, was hosted by Tatjana Haenni, FIFA Deputy Director Women’s Football, and took place at the Home of FIFA in Zurich.