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FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018


Paraguay v Spain: Group C - FIFA U-20 Women's  World Cup France 2018 - Paraguay pose for a team photo
© Getty Images

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup record 
France 2018 will be Paraguay’s second appearance at a World Cup in this category. La Albirroja made their tournament debut at Canada 2014, where they recorded their first victory at the expense of Costa Rica (2-1). However, it would not be enough to progress from their group after they finished third behind New Zealand and eventual semi-finalists France.

The road to France 
Paraguay made light work of their opening group at the South American U-20 Women’s Championship, topping the section with comprehensive wins over Colombia (6-1), Ecuador (4-1), Peru (9-0) and Argentina (3-0). Then in the four-team final round, they proved too strong for Venezuela (3-1) and Colombia again (4-2) to book their place in France. There was to be no maiden regional title, however, with Brazil inflicting a painful 8-1 defeat to continue their dominance.

The coach 
Epifania Benitez was a regular in the Paraguay senior team when a knee injury curtailed her playing days in 2003. That same year she began her coaching career with a team at university level. After two seasons doing this, she made the decision to resume playing, but always with the long-term goal of returning to coaching. After a long period of study and training, she was handed the reins of Paraguay’s U-17 and U-20 teams in March 2017, thus becoming the first woman to coach a national team in her homeland.

The stat
16 - The number of goals scored by Jessica Martinez (7), Fabiola Sandoval (5) and Lice Chamorro (4) at the South American Championship. Martinez will be hoping to grace her second U-20 World Cup in France and fourth overall, having twice competed at the U-17 equivalent.