After Germany's 11-0 drubbing of Argentina in Shanghai 24 hours earlier, USA and Korea DPR produced a sparkling advertisement for women's football with a fiercely contested 2-2 draw in Group B's opening fixture.
The Asians looked lively in the early going, firing in three shots from distance inside15 minutes that had US keeper Hope Solo looking less than pleased with her defenders. The Americans and their battering-ram forward Abby Wambach did their all to hit back and looked dangerous on set-pieces, but the closest the two-time world champions came in the opening half was when their big striker slammed a towering header off the bar four minutes before the break.
Wambach got the goal she was threatening five minutes into the second half. Picking up a lovely diagonal ball from Kristine Lilly, her powerful shot ended up in the back of the net after slipping through Jon Myong-Hui's gloves. The Koreans were stung into attack and responded in the 58th minute when, with Wambach inside the locker room receiving stitches for a head wound, Kil Son-Hui beat Solo with a shot from outside the box, the ball slipping through the keeper's grasp and into the net.
Four minutes on and with USA still a woman short, the Asian outsiders were in front, a scramble in the penalty area allowing substitute Kim Yong-Ae to poke home from close range. By the time Wambach returned to the pitch, her side were down and needing a lift. Heather O' Reilly provided it after 69 minutes when she took advantage of a poor clearance to hammer a half-volley inside the top corner to earn the Americans a point from this back-and-forth contest.
Up next for the Americans is a date with Scandinavian powers Sweden while Korea will hope to keep up their impressive form when they meet African champions Nigeria.
Player of the Match: Ri Kum Suk (PRK)