Japan, Venezuela and Nigeria perfect in group play

[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Tournament favorite Japan was joined by surprises Venezuela and Nigeria as the only teams to sweep all three group games at the Under-17 Women's World Cup, which wrapped up first-round play on Sunday.

While host Costa Rica lost all three games, Canada and Mexico, the other Concacaf representatives, advanced to the quarterfinals. The other shocker was the elimination of European champion Germany, which exited without a win.

Forward Marie Levasseur returned from an injury layoff to score two goals to give Canada a 2-1 win over Ghana in a must-win game. Ghana had already won the group, but Canada needed to win to hold off North Korea, a 4-3 winner over Germany.

QUARTERFINALS:
March 27 in San Jose
Venezuela vs. Canada
Ghana vs. Italy
March 27 in Liberia
Japan vs. Mexico
Nigeria vs. Spain

GROUP A:
March 15 in San Jose
Costa Rica 0 Venezuela 3
Italy 2 Zambia 0
March 18 in San Jose
Costa Rica 0 Italy 1
Venezuela 4 Zambia 0
March 22 in Tibas
Costa Rica 1 Zambia 2
March 22 in Alajuela
Venezuela 1 Italy 0
Final Standings:
Venezuela 9 points; Italy 6; Zambia 3; Costa Rica 0.

GROUP B:
March 15 in Liberia
Ghana 2 North Korea 0
Germany 2 Canada 2
March 18 in Liberia
Ghana 1 Germany 0
North Korea 1 Canada 1
March 22 in Tibas
Canada 2 Ghana 1
March 22 in Alajuela
North Korea 4 Germany 3
Final Standings: Ghana 6 points; Canada 5; North Korea 4; Germany 1.

GROUP C:
March 16 in Tibas
New Zealand 1 Paraguay 1
Japan 2 Spain 0
March 19 in Tibas
Spain 3 New Zealand 0
Japan 10 Paraguay 0
March 23 in San Jose
Japan 3 New Zealand 0
March 23 in Liberia
Spain 7 Paraguay 1
Final Standings: Japan 9 points; Spain 6; Paraguay 1, New Zealand 1.

GROUP D:
March 16 in Alajuela
Mexico 4 Colombia 0
China 1 Nigeria 2
March 19 in Alajuela
Mexico 4 China 0
Nigeria 2 Colombia 1
March 23 in San Jose
Nigeria 3 Mexico 0
March 23 in Liberia
China 3 Colombia 1
Final Standings: Nigeria 9 points; Mexico 6; China 3; Colombia 0.
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