Two-time runners-up Nigeria will open their 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup campaign against three-time champions Germany in Group D after the draw for the tournament was conducted at the Rennes Opera House in France on Thursday 8 March, International Women’s Day.
The match, scheduled for August 6, will mark the first meeting between both sides in the group stage. They went head to head three times before; once in the quarter-finals (2004) and twice in the final (2010 and 2014). On all three occasions however, Germany emerged victorious.
Debutants Haiti and China complete group D. The Chinese return for their sixth appearance at the global showpiece after missing out in 2016. China were runners-up in 2004 and 2006 and in those two editions they were in the same group as Nigeria.
Africa’s other representative Ghana will feature in the opening match of the tournament when they take on host nation France on August 5. Group A also includes New Zealand and first-timers Netherlands.
Ghana will be making their fifth consecutive appearance after failing to qualify for the first four editions. They will be looking to make it out of the group stage for the first time in France.
Defending champions North Korea (Korea DPR) have England, Mexico and Brazil to tackle in Group B as they eye a third title. While the USA, who alongside Germany are the most successful team in the tournament, having won the title for the most number of times (3), were drawn in Group C to face Japan, Paraguay and Spain.
FIFA’s Chief Women’s Football Officer, Sarai Bareman, and the group leader for FIFA’s Women’s Tournaments, Rhiannon Martin conducted the draw for the ninth edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
They were assisted by four French sport personalities with links to Brittany: Camille Abily, Lyon midfielder and former France international (183 caps), Mikael Silvestre, FIFA Legend and former France international (40 caps), Damien Seguin, gold medallist in sailing at the 2004 (Athens) and 2016 (Rio) Paralympic Games, and Aela Mocaer, a 15-year-old youth player at CPB Brequigny in Rennes.
The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup will take place from August 5-24 in the towns of Vannes, Concarneau, Saint-Malo and Dinan/Léhon.
*This article first appeared on www.aipsmedia.com