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Stakes high as rivals target last eight

The moment of truth has arrived in Groups  C and D, with hopes of progress accompanying fears of elimination for the teams in contention. Only Nigeria and France enjoy relative security ahead of their final outings, whereas the future hangs in the balance for Group C trio England, Mexico and Korea Republic and Group D sides Paraguay, New Zealand and Costa Rica. With the permutations almost endless, FIFA.com sheds a little light on the situation in both sections.

Match of the day Nigeria-England, Edmonton

Nigeria are the only team in the group to have won a match so far, seeing off Korea Republic last time out thanks to a blistering start and the fastest goal in the history of the competition. That win has left them in a strong position as they prepare to face England, with a single point sufficient to take them through and even a defeat not disastrous providing Mexico fail to overcome Korea Republic.

Courtney Dike (L) of Nigeria celebrates her team's first goal with team mates during the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 group C match between Korea Republic and Nigeria at Moncton Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Moncton, Canada. (Photo FIFA)
Courtney Dike (L) of Nigeria celebrates her team’s first goal with team mates during the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014 group C match between Korea Republic and Nigeria at Moncton Stadium on August 9, 2014 in Moncton, Canada. (Photo FIFA)

Their European rivals require victory, on the other hand, unless both matches end in draws with the same scoreline. In that case, Nigeria would advance and England would face a drawing of lots with Mexico for the right to join them in the quarter-finals.

The other matches

Almost anything can still happen in Group C, so Mexico will be desperate to take matters into their own hands by downing Korea Republic. That would send them safely through to the last eight, though if they draw they must hope England fail to prevail as well. As for their opponents, the only team in the section to have suffered a loss, they can settle for nothing less than victory while keeping their fingers crossed that Nigeria lose – and even then, they must win by two goals or hope Nigeria lose by two.

All clear? The situation is a little less murky in Group D, especially for section leaders France. Having won both their games and racked up an array of goals in the process, Les Bleuettes can make do with a stalemate against Paraguay, and can even lose as long as New Zealand fail to overtake their goal difference in a success against Costa Rica.

In Paraguay’s case, they will progress with a win – providing they too maintain their goal-difference superiority over New Zealand – or a draw if the Kiwis miss out on a victory. Lastly, Las Ticas need to prevail by a handsome margin and hope Paraguay lose, with their chances diminished by a pair of reverses thus far. Well, we did say it was complicated.


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