A solitary Kim Kyong Hwa goal seized Group F pole position for Korea DPR as the Asian champions saw off a spirited late challenge from Nigeria to win 1-0 in Shenyang.

The Asian champions had comfortably beaten their African counterparts 2-0 when these sides last met in Chengdu at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup, and in truth they should have been out of sight once again inside the opening 20 minutes.

Yet despite a near-incessant onslaught on the Falcons' goal, it took until 27 minutes for the North Koreans to break the deadlock. Predictably, iconic forward Ri Kum Suk was its architect, seeking out her team-mate with an inch-perfect pass that Kim clinically dispatched into the net from the edge of the box.

At this stage, Nigeria seemed to have no answer to the Koreans' quick, incisive attacking forays, and they looked certain to see their deficit doubled when Ri won her side a penalty just before half-time. The AFC Women's Player of the Year dusted herself down to take control of the spot kick, but with the small, noisy band of North Korean fans preparing to celebrate, their heroine slotted wide of the left-hand post.

It had the makings of a turning point and when Korea DPR failed to make the most of yet another spell of dominance at the start of the second half, it looked as if Nigeria might well have weathered the storm. However, despite some late pressure that led to a couple of wasted half-chances, the Falcons could have no complaints about the outcome of a match in which the better team undoubtedly won.

Korea DPR now lead Group F on 3 points, followed by Germany and Brazil on 1, while Nigeria's defeat leaves them propping up the imposing-looking section.