In what was always going to be the glamour game of the first round at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Chile 2008, Brazil managed to do just enough to beat defending champions Korea DPR in Temuco on Thursday.
The Koreans had the best chance of the early moments. After only three minutes, Cha Hu Nam fired in a shot from distance that forced Brazilian keeper Viviane into a fine save. Shortly after, a defensive mix-up allowed Ra Um Sim and Ri Jong Si to combine nicely in attack, but to no ultimate effect. Brazil's Pamela responded up the other end of the pitch with a fine piece of individual play, but one she couldn't turn into a scoring chance.
The first goal of an evenly-contested match came, predictably, from a mistake. Two Brazilian defenders failed to clear a dangerous ball at the back and Ri Ye Gyong stepped up to take the gift and fire home to make it 1-0 to the East Asians on the half-hour mark. One minute later, Ra Um Sim nearly made it two only to be denied by Viviane.
Brazil regained their composure after going down a goal and Janaina hauled them back level with a fine strike in first-half stoppage time, sending the South Americans to the locker room feeling good.
They kept up the pace in the second period. Franciella sent a long through ball for Erika, who hammered home to make it 2-1 in the 48th minute. Nerves looked to be setting in to the Asian side and Erika was hauled down in the penalty area in the 68th minute. Francielle made no mistake from the spot to increase Brazil's lead to 3-1.
After hitting the bar with a quarter-hour to go, the Koreans brought the deficit to 3-2 with a Ri Jong Sim header in the fading moments of stoppage time. But it was too little, too late.
With their fine play on this opening day, victorious Brazil and valiant Korea DPR look like good bets to get out of Chile 2008's Group D.