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Women's U-17 World Cup: Venezuela edge Italy for top spot

Women's U-17 World Cup: Venezuela edge Italy for top spot

A lone goal early in the second half saw Venezuela secure a deserved 1-0 win over Italy to finish top of Group A and set up a last-eight meeting with Canada.

The opening half saw a handful of chances at either end, most notably with Venezuela's Franyely Rodriguez directing a seemingly goalbound header back across goal only for Italy's Nicole Peressotti to make a last-ditch clearance off the line, just when the South Americans were ready to celebrate.

Deyna Castellanos netted a minute into the second period with a solo run and finish for the decisive moment of the contest.

Venezuela suddenly came alive with the goal and Lourdes Moreno dribbled around the whole defense in the penalty box but her shot was blocked at the last.

Italy’s best chance came close to the hour mark as Annamaria Serturini's long-range free-kick cannoned off the crossbar, with the match eventually petering out to become a low key contest in the latter stages.

As group winners Venezuela will now meet Canada, while Italy will tackle Ghana.