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22 November 2019 | in University World Cup Football , Football

Paulista steal the show over host team as women’s competition begins at University World Cup

JINJIANG, People’s Republic of China – It was a case of Brazilian flair versus Chinese resilience as Paulista University took on Beijing Normal University at the Economic Development Zone Stadium here in the southeastern corner of Fujian Province.


A day after the men’s tournament opened, eight women’s teams came out to play their first group games of the KELME 2019 FISU University World Cup - Football. Paulista, winners of the continental qualifiers that paved the way for these world finals, had their task cut out against a gritty home team.


For most of the first half, pressure was often more on the Brazilian goalkeeper than the Chinese one. While dribbling and passing worked well for the South Americans, actual attempts on goal were limited; to the extent where a corner in the 37th minute was completely squandered.


In the mêlée that followed, the Brazilians’ luck turned completely. Thanks to a brief lapse in the Chinese defence, No.9 Mylena Pedroso scored a scrambling goal and took Paulista University into the lead. The goal seemed to inject fresh vigour into their legs and all of a sudden it looked a different team, going into half time.


“I think Beijing Normal University is a very fast team,” Pedroso said to reporters after the game “The girls in this team are very, very good players. It’s an honour to be here and to compete against these Chinese girls.”


“There are no words to describe my happiness when I scored that first goal in this match,” she added. “We won our first game at this University World Cup. It’s so exciting and amazing. This is a great beginning and I really hope we can continue to win like we did tonight.”


They did win rather easily in the end, as an unfortunate own goal from the Chinese handed them a 2-0 lead in the 60th minute.


After that, a few spirited attacks from an otherwise visibly deflated Beijing team were not enough to restore parity or even trouble the Brazilians on more than a couple of occasions. One real attempt came in the 84th minute from No.12 Kaixue Tangbut the Brazilian goalie Fernanda Laís Delazere safely got her hands on it and it was 2-0 to Paulista when the whistle blew.


An elated Pedroso also said “We already knew that our university won the University World Cup 3x3 just last month. And now we are coming for the University World Cup - Football!”

 Players from the University of Sydney and the University of Lausanne contest a 50:50 ball during the opening game of the tournament under the lights of the Quanzhou College of Technology Stadium in Jinjiang, China

The confidence may be well deserved after tonight’s performance but they will come up against University of Sydney soon, who stamped their authority on the tournament with a 12-0 rout of University of Lausanne. Also registering opening day wins in the women's tournament were the University of Ottawa (CAN) and College of Asian Scholars (THA).


Men’s competition continues on Saturday, 23 November, with the second round of group matches. The tournament continues until 1 December when the men’s finals will be played, one day after the women’s title game.


All matches will be streamed live on FISU.TV. Further information on the University World Cup – Football is available here.