1st FIFA Under-19 World Championship
August 17th-September 1st, Canada
The draw was made at FIFA Headquarters in Zurich on Monday for the inaugural FIFA Under-19 World Championship, which will be held in Canada from August 17th to September 1st 2002. England qualified for the finals by way of reaching the 1st UEFA European Championship semi-finals in Sweden last week. Coach Mo Marley's side have been given a tough draw in Group C against USA, Chinese Taipai and Australia; they will play all their games in the city of Victoria.
The hosts, Canada, will play Denmark, Nigeria and Japan in Edmonton, where the 40,000 group tickets available have already sold out. Germany have been drawn in Group B with France, Mexico and Brazil. National Women's Coach Hope Powell commented: 'At this stage, we would expect to have difficult games from the very start and it will be hard being in the same group as the USA. But it will be a good experience for the players to come up against non-European teams and to get an idea of how these teams play. The squad has done tremendously well to even qualify for the finals and we're all looking forward to the tournament now.'
England will play the USA in their opening game on Saturday August 17th at 1.00pm local time in the 6,000-seat Centennial Stadium in Victoria, B.C. England were unlucky to get knocked out of the European Championship semi-finals after putting in a superb performance against the reigning champions Germany.
England had the majority of the possession at the Landskrona Stadium on Friday 10th May and controlled the game with some flowing, attacking football in severe windy conditions. But with the wind behind them, England conceded a penalty on 28 minutes when goalkeeper Toni-Anne Wayne brought down an opponent.
The eventual tournament winners Germany were stunned by England’s pressure and their manager Silvia Neid conceded both on the pitch and in the press conference afterwards, that England had been the better side and should have won the game. The tournament was the first official UEFA Under-19 finals following the switch from Under-18 to Under-19 level and in the fourth year of the Under-18/19 tournament, it is the first time that England had reached the final eight teams.
England surpassed all expectations to reach the final four of the tournament and qualify for the World Championships. England had claimed second place in Group A ahead of Norway and Switzerland, who all finished on three points, on goal difference thanks to a 3-1 victory over the Norwegians in their opening game.
Group C – Centennial Stadium, Victoria, BC (all local time)
17th August 2002, 1.00pm USA v England
17th August 2002, 3.15pm Chinese Taipei v Australia
19th August 2002, 5.00pm England v Chinese Taipei
19th August 2002, 7.15pm Australia v USA
21st August 2002, 5.00pm England v Australia
21st August 2002, 7.15pm Chinese Taipei v USA
25th August 2002, 7.00pm Quarter-finals