After 32 games the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 has come to an end, with Germany overcoming Nigeria to win the trophy for a third time and France sealing third place.
A clutch of individual awards were also handed out on Sunday, none more important than the adidas Golden Ball, presented to the tournament’s most outstanding player. The top three in the race for the award at Canada 2014 was as follows:
adidas Golden Ball: Asisat Oshoala (NGA)
adidas Silver Ball: Griedge Mbock Bathy (FRA)
adidas Bronze Ball: Claire Lavogez (FRA)
Nicknamed Superzee by her appreciative team-mates, Nigeria striker Asisat Oshoala owes her accolade to her speed and nose for goal. The free-scoring forward set several records during the competition and ended it as the leading markswoman to also pocket the adidas Golden Boot.
France enjoyed an impressive tournament, a fact reflected by the appearance of captain Griedge Mbock Bathy and No10 Claire Lavogez in the top three. A cornerstone of Gilles Eyquem’s team, centre-back Bathy played in every one of her side’s matches and also showed her attacking prowess, while creative midfielder Claire Lavogez caught the eye with her technique, vision and finishing skills, scoring one of the goals of the tournament against Costa Rica in the group phase.
adidas Golden Boot: Asisat Oshoala (NGA)
adidas Silver Boot: Pauline Bremer (GER)
adidas Bronze Boot: Sara Dabritz (GER)
As well as serving up two assists, the insatiable Oshoala found the back of the net seven times in all, reaching her peak in the semi-final against Korea DPR, when she became only the third player in the history of the competition to score four goals in a single game. Her tournament haul is the most ever by a Nigerian player, taking her past compatriots Desire Oparanozie, Ebere Orji and Cynthia Uwak, each of whom scored five FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup goals.
Germany’s powerful attacking unit was a crucial factor in their third world title in the category, with forward Pauline Bremer leading the way with five goals and six assists and midfielder Sara Dabritz matching her goal tally and also providing two assists.
adidas Golden Glove: Maike Kamper (GER)
Germany custodian Maike Kamper ended the tournament with an impressive save rate of 81 per cent, having made 26 stops in her five appearances. Kamper turned in her best performances in the group opener against USA, the semi-final against France and Sunday’s final, playing an essential part in Die Mannschaft’s successful campaign.
FIFA Fair Play award: Canada
The Canucks proved the perfect hosts. Their exemplary behaviour on the pitch was reflected by the fact they received just three yellow cards and no red cards and committed a mere 35 fouls in their four outings.