FIFA U-20 World Cup Update

Aug. 23, 2012

By Stephanie Juncker

JAPAN ---Fresno State midfielder Nadia Pearl is currently playing for the New Zealand U-20 World Cup Team which is competing at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan. The Football Ferns have played two matches so far, and will play their final Group A match on Sunday, Aug. 26 in Kobe, Japan.

New Zealand played their first match on Aug. 19 against Switzerland, in which they captured the victory by a score of 2-1. Pearl came off the bench in the 89th minute to see her first action of the tournament.

On Aug. 22, Pearl was given the nod to start for New Zealand in a match against the host country Japan. While appearing in the starting lineup, Pearl played 63 minutes of New Zealand's 2-2 draw with Japan. The Kiwi's held a 2-0 lead, but were unable to hold off a strong charge by the Japanese team in the second half.

New Zealand has one match remaining in Group A play against Mexico on Aug. 26. The Kiwi's are tied with Japan for the lead in Group A with both squads having recorded four points. Mexico is close behind with three points, and Switzerland is last in the group after losing both of its first two matches.

The 21-day tournament is taking place across five venues, including Hiroshima, Kobe, Miyagi, Saitama and Tokyo, with the historic Japanese capital playing host to the final.

Sixteen nations have qualified for this World Cup and they are divided into four groups of four, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the quarterfinals.

To find out more information about the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup and to follow Pearl and the New Zealand team click HERE.

"Discover Fresno State Athletics" - Come out and support the Fresno State soccer team as they take on No. 4/5 UCLA in the home opener on Friday at 7 p.m. There will be FREE Fresno State ice cream for all who attend. Remember to vote every day for Fresno State at and wear your Bulldog red on Aug. 31 for College Colors Day.