Germany underlined their quality again at the FIFA U-20 World Cup with a comprehensive defeat of a Korea DPR side who were reduced to 10 players when Choe Mi-Gyong was shown a red card for a second booking. For their semi-final opponents, the host nation await the winners of tomorrow's clash between Mexico and Korea Republic.
Alexandra Popp sent Maren Meinert's team on their way with a first-half strike to register her seventh goal in the tournament and extend her lead in the race for the adidas Golden Shoe. She also played a big part in Sylvia Arnold's second goal. History was made because it was the first time in their 16 matches at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup that North Korea had failed to find the net.
With their passing more efficient and precise, Germany quickly became the dominant force in this clash between the champions of 2004 aqnd 2006. After just three minutes, Dzsenifer Marozsan brought Popp into the picture but her shot proved a comfortable save for goalkeeper Hong Myong-Hui.
In the tenth minute there was Popp again with a 22-metre shot that was only a fraction away from the right-hand post. Choe responded for the Asians after the German defence failed to get the ball away. Her shot was blocked by Marith Priessen close to the goal line.
North Korea were getting stronger but their threat was limited to long shots. From 35 metres, right back Hyon Un-Hui tried her luck and Almuth Schult watched the ball sail over the bar. In the 34th minute Marozsan stole the ball from Jo Myong-Hui, stepped up the pace and surged into the area but her shot from a sharp angle was parried by Hong.
However the host nation had the lead they deserved two minutes before the break. When Marozsan delivered a free-kick from the right the Asian defenders allowed the ball to bounce and Popp was in the right place at the right time to hammer it home on the volley, sparking mass celebrations among the 16,946 Bochum crowd.
It almost became 2-0 in the 49th minute when Marozsan was left unmarked in a one-on-one with Hong but the keeper pulled off a remarkable reflex save. North Korea's task then became a lot more difficult as Choe, their most dangerous player, received her marching orders following a robust challenge on Marith Priessen.
German captain Marina Hegering took up the initiative with a powerful drive from distance that Hong touched onto the post. The second goal did arrive in the 69th minute when Popp chipped the ball over her own shoulder into Arnold's path. The left-winger touched the ball once with her head before guiding it neatly into the net.
A third almost arrived as Svenja Huth’s header hit the bar while Hong maintained her defiance to the end, denying Hegering once again.