Lena Petermann scored in the eighth minute of extra time to lead Germany to a 1-0 victory over Nigeria to claim the under-20 Women’s World Cup at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Sunday. The game finished tied 0-0 after 90 minutes.
The victory is Germany’s third at this competition, after winning the event in 2004 and 2010.
The Nigerians looked to have won the match in the 85th minute of regular time when midfielder Asisat Oshoala headed the ball across the line, but the play was called dead for offside.
Nigeria was the better team for much of the game, as the Falconets pinned the Germans in their own half for lengthy periods of time. Nigeria’s shots were dangerous, and its crosses constantly threatened the German defence.
But it was Petermann who broke the deadlock in extra time, firing home from close range past goalkeeper Sandra Chiichii for her third goal of the competition.
Forward Pauline Bremer of Germany got the play going, stripping Nigeria’s Gladys Abasi of the ball on the edge of the 18-yard-box. Bremer walked in to the penalty area and squared the ball to Petermann, who scored Germany’s 17th goal of the tournament.
The loss was Nigeria’s second in the final of the U-20 tournament, after losing 2-0 to Germany in 2010.
Nigeria came closest to opening the score in the first half. Oshoala had a glorious chance in the 22nd minute when she stole the ball from German defender Margarita Gidion, walked in on a breakaway, and sidestepped goalie Meike Kaemper before finding the side netting.
The tournament’s leading scorer Oshoala, by far the game’s best player, was denied another promising opportunity in the 38th when her teammate Loveth Ayila walked into her shot, deflecting it wide.
The game was 0-0 at halftime, with Nigeria directing nine shots towards target to Germany’s four.
But Germany began pulling away as the game wore on. Its best chance in regular time came late when Petermann walked in on the Nigerian net on a partial break in the 78th, but her shot was scooped up by Chiichii.
The Germans finished with 13 shots on target. Nigeria had six.
Germany and Nigeria are familiar foes at the U-20 event.
In 2004, when the tournament was an U-19 format, Germany defeated Nigeria on penalties in the quarter-finals en route to its first championship.
In 2010, Germany’s Alexandra Popp scored early in the final to defeat Nigeria’s Falconets 2-0 in front of 24,633 in Bielefeld, Germany. Current Germany coach Karen Meinart was in charge of that team, as well.
At a press conference in Montreal on Saturday, Peter Montopoli of the Canadian Soccer Association said he was disappointed by the turnout in Montreal during the U-20 tournament, where an average of 9,000 soccer fans attended games at the Olympic Stadium.
On Sunday, there were 15,822 in attendance at the Big O.
Earlier in the day, France beat North Korea 3-2 in the third-place match. France’s centre half Aissatou Tounkara scored the winner in the 79th minute to lead the Bleuettes to their first podium finish at the U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Germany’s Kaemper was named the final’s best player. She stopped six shots.
Canada’s Carol Anne Chenard refereed the final. Chenard was also the referee in the 2010 final between Nigeria and Germany.
Germany was the top scoring team with 17 goals.
Next summer, six Canadian cities will host the 2015 Women’s World Cup, the first senior FIFA tournament held in Canada. The month-long, 50-match event will run from June 6 to July 5, 2015, with the final game played at Vancouver’s BC Place.
© The Canadian Press, 2014