Canada whips Argentina at U-20 Women's World Cup

Canada kicked off the U-20 Women's World Cup in impressive fashion Monday morning, crushing Argentina 6-0 in the opening match for both soccer nations in Kobe, Japan.

USA, Korea DPR, Germany all victorious

Jaclyn Sawicki, left, and Canada's U-20 women's squad thumped Argentina 6-0 on Monday. (Getty Images File Photo)

Canada scored five times in the first half en route to a 6-0 victory over Argentina in its opening Group C match at the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup in Kobe, Japan, on Monday.

Adriana Leon of Mississauga, Ont., netted a hat trick in the first half for the Canadians.

Shelina Zadorsky of London, Ont., Jaclyn Sawicki of Coquitlam, B.C., and Catherine Charron-Delage of Longueuil, Que., also scored for Canada.

Goalkeeper Sabrina D'Angelo of Welland, Ont., got the shutout for Canada, which is aiming to build on the success of the bronze medal performance by its senior team at the London Olympics.

Argentina had the first good opportunity of the match as Betina Soriano rattled a shot off the crossbar early on, but it was all Canada after that. 

In the seventh minute, Agustina Barroso was given a red card for a foul inside the box. On the resulting penalty kick, Zadorsky made no mistake with her strike.

In the 20th minute, Sawicki, who played a superb game in both ends of the pitch, put Canada up 2-0. Two minutes later, Sawicki's pass enabled Leon to give her country a three goal lead. 

The duo collaborated again in the 42nd minute when Leon got her second of the match and then completed the hat trick four minutes later in added time.

With the score at 5-0, the second half did not produce many chances.

Argentina played an improved final 20 minutes, but Charron Delage put home a nice header to cap the Canadian victory at 6-0.

Canada's next opponent is Norway on Thursday (CBC,, 5:45 a.m. ET).

North Korea 4, Norway 2

In the other Group C match, Kim Un Hwa and Kim Su Gyong scored in the second half to lead North Korea over Norway.

Yun Hyon Hi scored first, heading in Kim Un Hyang's cross in the 15th minute. Norway levelled eight minutes later through Caroline Hansen's superb finish from just inside the box.

North Korea made it 2-1 five minutes before the break when Yun was taken down in the area by Ida Aadalen and scored on the resulting spot kick.

Ada Hegerberg pulled Norway level after the break, but two goals in a span of five minutes by Kim Un Hwa and Kim Su Gyong ensured victory for North Korea.

United States 4, Ghana 0

Maya Hayes scored a hat trick to lead the United States to a 4-0 victory over Ghana in its opening Group D match at the women's under-20 World Cup in Hiroshima, Japan.

The Americans took a 1-0 lead when Morgan Brian's header hit the crossbar and bounced in after hitting Ghana defender Kinda Addai for an own goal in the 20th minute.

Hayes doubled the lead five minutes into the second half, heading in a cross from Kealia Ohai, and made it 3-0 in the 74th with a right-footed shot from just outside the box.

Hayes completed her hat trick two minutes into injury time when she chipped goalkeeper Patricia Mantey to score her 15th goal in international play.

"It's always exciting to come into an atmosphere like this," Hayes said. "It was great to get three goals.

"But I couldn't have done it without the help of my teammates. This team brings out the best in me."

The United States, one of the tournament favourites, is looking to build on the success of its senior women's team, which won the gold medal at the London Olympics.

"We came away with the result we wanted today and I couldn't be happier for Maya," U.S. coach Steve Swanson said. "She has worked very hard and showed the explosiveness she has."

The Americans, who won this tournament in 2002 and 2008, will next play China on Thursday before wrapping up group play against defending champion Germany on Aug. 27 in Miyagi.

Germany 4, China PR 0

The reigning champions from Germany began their title defence with a convincing 4-0 victory over China PR in the other Group D match of the day.

Lena Lotzen and Anja Hegenauer netted goals in the first half for Germany.

In the 74th minute, Lin Yuping's own goal gave Germany the 3-0 lead and Luisa Wensing sealed the 4-0 win with a tally in the first minute of added time.

With files from The Associated Press