Thursday 06 December 2018, 21:54

Spain sit atop unprecedented podium

  • La Rojita clinched their country’s first-ever women’s title

  • Mexico and New Zealand also made history

  • Claudia Pina named best player in a tournament with few goals

Spain became the fifth country to win the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, lifting the coveted trophy at Uruguay 2018 and laying to rest the demons of Costa Rica 2014, when they lost in the final.

La Rojita spearheaded a never-before-seen top three, with surprise packages Mexico and New Zealand finishing second and third respectively.

This unexpected podium underlines the parity that prevailed in the sixth edition of the tournament, which was notable for two other trends: goals were few and far between, and for the first time, no Asian team featured in the last four.

The top three

Spain finished the competition unbeaten, winning four and drawing two of their matches, and they scored 14 goals while conceding just three. On their road to glory, they disposed of the not insignificant challenge posed by defending champions Korea DPR, the only country to have claimed two U-17 Women’s World Cup titles.

Boosted by the ‘veterans’, namely Claudia Pina, Catalina Coll and Eva Navarro, who were all part of the Spain squad that reached the final of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, and aided by burgeoning talents such as Irene Lopez and Salma Paralluelo, the Spaniards confirmed their status of front-runners in brilliant fashion. It was no surprise, therefore, that their players featured so prominently in the individual awards.

Mexico took a practical approach, scoring just six goals as they became just the second CONCACAF side to make it to the final, something which had not occurred since the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2008. Nicole Perez excelled for El Tri, as did other key players like goalkeeper Jaidy Gutierrez and midfielder Silvana Flores.

New Zealand were united and fought hard for one another, defeating Canada in the match for third place – the best-ever performance by the diminutive nation in a FIFA-run tournament (men’s or women’s). In addition, their performances point to a bright future for the OFC representatives.

Claudia Pina (L) of Spain and Nicole Perez of Mexico poses with adidas Golden and Silver Ball Award

Did you know?

  • For the first time, competing teams failed to produce a combined total of 100 goals or more during the tournament. The 2018 tally of 86 goals in 32 matches equates to an average of 2.68 per game, which is the lowest in the history of the competition.

  • Japan became the first team to surpass the 100-goal mark at the U-17 Women’s World Cup.

  • With nine goals (two in 2016 and seven in 2018), Pina is now the second-top scorer in the history of the tournament (behind Venezuela’s Deyna Castellanos, who boasts 11 successful strikes).

  • Although Uruguay recorded more points (one) and goals (two) than the three previous host nations (Azerbaijan in 2012, Costa Rica in 2014 and Jordan in 2016), they still became the sixth successive hosts to fail to advance to the knockout stages.

  • It took just 15 seconds for New Zealand’s Grace Wisnewski to make the breakthrough in the match for third place – the fastest goal in tournament history.

  • Finland, the only side making their U-17 World Cup debut at Uruguay 2018, did not manage to get out of their group, but their did pick up their first point.

The New Zealand Team pose for a photo with their bronze medals

Beyond the tournament

Final standings

1. Spain 2. Mexico 3. New Zealand 4. Canada

All Uruguay 2018 results HERE

Mukarama Abdulai of Ghana celebrates after scoring a goal

Leading goalscorers

adidas Golden Boot: Abdulai Mukarama (GHA) - 7 goals, 2 assists adidas Silver Boot: Claudia Pina (ESP) – 7 goals, 1 assist adidas Bronze Boot: Irene Lopez (ESP) – 3 goals, 2 assists

Full Uruguay 2018 goalscorer standings HERE


adidas Golden Ball: Claudia Pina (ESP) adidas Silver Ball: Nicole Perez (MEX) adidas Bronze Ball: Abdulai Mukarama (GHA) adidas Golden Glove: Catalina Coll (ESP) Fair Play Award: Japan

All Uruguay 2018 awards HERE

Stadiums and host cities

Estadio Charrua (Montevideo) Estadio Domingo Burgueno Miguel (Maldonado) Estadio Alberto Suppici (Colonia del Sacramento)

All Uruguay 2018 stadiums and host cities HERE