With the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ set to kick off in France in less than 200 days’ time, FIFA’s Technical Study Group (TSG) has reported on the consistent improvements being made in the women’s game in their analysis of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018, which is now available on FIFA.com.
“By producing this in-depth report in collaboration with FIFA’s women’s football division, we can confirm the concrete progress that women’s football is making from a technical, tactical and fitness point of view. Such improvement is to a great extent due to the excellent coaching we are seeing across all confederations,“ says Branimir Ujević, the Head of the FIFA Coaching & Player Development Department, which is responsible for the TSG.
Among the key conclusions in the report are the improvements in goalkeeping and defensive organisation, as shown by the fact that since the launch of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in 2002, this year’s edition was the one with the fewest goals scored (89 compared to 113 at the previous edition in Papua New Guinea in 2016).
“On the one hand, goalkeepers are actively contributing to their teams’ build-up play, and overall we saw solid defensive structures and players with a great sense of anticipation, such as Japan’s Hana Takahashi. On the other hand, we witnessed a remarkable ability and attitude by the attackers to make the most out of the few chances that came their way. Patricia Guijarro, the tournament’s top scorer and best player, as well as Emelyne Laurent, are prototypes of clinical finishers,” comments FIFA Head of TSG and Women’s Football Technical Programmes Manager, Patricia González.
“The great tactical flexibility shown by the majority of teams confirms that players at U-20 World Cup level are increasingly mature. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see plenty of them excel during the Women’s World Cup 2019,” adds González.
The 108-page TSG report comprises statistics, interviews and videos, and it is the most comprehensive report of its kind ever produced by FIFA for a women’s competition.