The first two Asian representatives at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Germany 2010 have been confirmed after Japan and Korea Republic secured narrow 1-0 wins in the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Women's Championship in Wuhan, China.
The two results leaves China and Korea DPR to do battle in the play-off for third with only the winner to progress, meaning one of the finalists from Russia 2006 will miss a berth on the world stage next year in Germany.
Ji So-Yun's goal four minutes from full time against China was enough to send Korea Republic through to their first appearance on the world stage since 2004. Ji's driving run and low finish inside Zhang Yue's near post proving a goal worthy of the occasion.
In the earlier match, Korea DPR were stunned by a lone strike from Mana Iwabuchi, with the goal from the reigning AFC Women's Youth player of the year enough to separate the teams. The winner came when Michi Goto's corner was headed goalwards by Natsumi Kameoka with Iwabuchi steering the ball home from close range to deny the Chile 2008 runners-up.
China and Korea DPR will now meet on Wednesday in a fascinating tussle for the third and final berth at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. The final will see Japan looking for a maiden U-19 Asian title when they meet Korea Republic. Germany will host the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup which commences next July.