THE DAY REPLAYED - The opening day of the knockout phase at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010 had a Korean flavour about it, with Korea Republic and Korea DPR both advancing to the semi-finals.
The reigning champions pulled off the shock of the tournament so far by cutting short Germany’s seemingly unstoppable title charge. Undaunted by the free-scoring form of the Europeans, the North Koreans stood firm at the back and struck a solitary goal to keep their championship defence firmly on track.
Prior to that their southern neighbours had played out a truly memorable encounter with Nigeria, who like Germany had gone into the quarter-finals with a 100 per cent record. Leading 2-0 after only three minutes, the Flamingoes looked as if they would maintain that run only for the Taeguk Ladies to storm back to lead 4-3. A last-minute goal for the Nigerians took the tie into extra time but two quickfire strikes killed off their hopes and set up a notable Korean double act.
Goal of the day
Germany 0-1 Korea DPR, Kim Kum-Jong 44
The North Koreans needed something special if they were to see off the tournament’s form team and the Pyongyang City striker produced it on the stroke of half-time. Picking up the ball 35 yards from goal, she unleashed a fierce drive that arrowed past Germany keeper Lena Nuding and into the top corner.
A feast for neutrals, the Nigeria-Korea Republic tie proved a nightmare for both coaches and for reporters with deadlines to meet. In a wildly fluctuating encounter that tested the nerves and energy reserves of both sets of players, the two sides served up 11 goals, equalling the tournament record set by Germany’s 10-1 demolition of South Africa in the group phase.
Shock to the system
Germany will take some time to forget Jong’s match-winning piledriver. As the final whistle sounded to end their dreams of glory, Ralf Peter’s disbelieving players sank to the ground at the Manny Ramjohn Stadium in Marabella. While they lay on the turf trying to come to terms with defeat, the rest of the squad wandered around the pitch with incredulous looks on their faces. Having looked an unbeatable side in scoring 22 goals in their three group matches, the tournament favourites were down and out.
4 - The number of goals Korea Republic striker Yeo Min-Ji scored in her side’s amazing win over Nigeria, quite a haul for a player who picked up a serious knee injury only four months ago and who went into the tournament short of match practice. Now the tournament’s joint top scorer despite her coaches assurances that she is still not fully fit, the Haman Daesan HS forward has every chance of claiming the adidas Golden Ball, especially with her five main challengers all out of the competition.
What they said
“We started brightly but we fell behind and just couldn’t find a way back. I don’t think we performed badly. The problem was we couldn’t play our usual game. It’s been a great experience for us here but we have to work even harder if we’re going to improve in the future,” Lena Petermann, Germany forward.