Korea DPR have made a winning start to their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Canada 2014 campaign with a 2-1 win over Finland at Toronto's National Soccer Stadium.
All three goals arrived in the first half of this evenly matched encounter, with the European underdogs slightly unfortunate to be edged out by a team who won this competition in 2006.
After a nervy opening minute, in which they nearly conceded the lead, the Finns made a bright start to the game and it was somewhat against the run of play when Korea DPR broke the deadlock with 15 minutes played. The goal was indebted to the industry on the left of Choe Un Hwa, who burst towards the corner flag before delivering an inviting cross. Ri Un Sim missed the ball but, with the Finnish defence exposed, Kim So Hyang made no mistake, heading routinely home from close range.
The Asians took confidence from making the breakthrough and began to dominate for a spell. Indeed, it seemed they had moved out of sight when Choe Yun Gyong doubled their advantage 12 minutes later, crashing home a fantastic 25-yard shot that flashed just under the Finnish crossbar.
Marianne Miettinen's side are made of stern stuff, though, and they showed the character and quality that took them through the European preliminaries by halving the deficit within a couple of minutes. Sini Laaksonen was the scorer, and hers was a strike that arguably bettered Choe's, with the ball sent flying into the top corner from 20 yards - opening Finland's U-20 Women's World Cup account in their fourth match at this tournament.
The goals dried up in the second half, but the action barely abated, with the Europeans doing the bulk of the attacking. Heroum and Sanni Franssi very nearly combined for an equaliser 15 minutes from time, but Korea DPR held on for a win that boosts their hopes of qualifying from a group that also includes Ghana and hosts Canada.
Live Your Goals player of the match: Choe Yun Gyong (PRK)