THE DAY REPLAYED – The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010 came to a pulsating conclusion on Saturday as Korea Republic beat Japan 5-4 in a penalty shootout, the last act in a thrilling final packed with goals and drama. Tied at 3-3 at the end of 90 minutes in which the lead and the initiative changed hands continually, the two sides battled to a standstill in extra-time, with the South Koreans holding their nerve from the spot to win the country’s maiden FIFA title.
Earlier in the day Spain took the honours in the match for third place, securing a 1-0 win over defending champions Korea DPR. Dominant in the first half without finding any reward, Las Rojitas capitalised on a mistake in the North Korean defence to take the lead just after the restart and were indebted to goalkeeper Dolores Gallardo as they survived a late fightback by the gallant North Koreans.
Goal of the day
Korea Republic 1-0 Japan, Lee Jung-Eun 6
The opening goal of a nail-biting final came from fully 25 yards out, as Jung-Eun arrowed a powerful drive into the top right-hand corner of Eri Hirao’s net. That set the tone for the rest of the game, which yielded four more long-distance strikes. The South Korean midfielder proved less reliable from the spot later in the game however, missing her kick in the penalty shootout. Fortunately for Jung-Eun, here team-mates made amends.
Anything you can do …
The match for third place was something of a private duel between the two keepers. Korea DPR custodian Choe Kyong-Im was the star of the show in the opening 45 minutes, pulling off a string of excellent stops to deny Spain the goal they deserved. The second half was all about her opposite number Dolores Gallardo, who saved her best till last, thwarting a late North Korean comeback with some magnificent stops in the final ten minutes.
A touch of stardust
As if playing a FIFA World Cup final were not tense enough, the Korea Republic and Japan teams had another reason to be nervous as they lined up for the national anthems before kick-off. Waiting to greet them all was none other than David Beckham, an interested spectator at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain.
Shooting on sight
The final produced some spectacular long-range shooting, with all but one of the goals scored in normal time coming from shots from outside the box. While some whistled into the corners, others flew right over the heads of the two keepers, who endured an unusually testing evening.
125 - The number of goals scored at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, 12 more than at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup New Zealand 2008. With 22 and 20 goals respectively, Germany and Japan boasted the most prolific attacks in the competition.
What they said
My goal is a big one - I want to be the best women’s player in the world. I want Korea Republic to become a major force not just in Asia but in the world at senior level. I sensed that this dream was beginning to come true when we scored our winning penalty kick, and it made me cry." adidas Golden Ball and Golden Shoe winner Yeo Min Ji
adidas Golden Ball: Yeo Min-Ji (KOR)
adidas Silver Ball: Kumi Yokoyama (JPN)
adidas Bronze Ball: Kim Kum-Jong (PRK)
adidas Golden Boot: Yeo Min-Ji (KOR)
adidas Silver Boot: Kyra Malinowski (GER)
adidas Bronze Boot: Kumi Yokoyama (JPN)
adidas Golden Glove: Dolores Gallardo (ESP)
FIFA Fair Play Award: Germany