20 November 2010

NKorea beats SKorea 3-1, reaches women’s final

GUANGZHOU, China (AP)—Ra Un Sim scored twice in extra time Saturday as defending champion North Korea beat archrival South Korea 3-1 for a spot in the women’s football final at the Asian Games.

North Korea captain Jo Yun Mi opened the scoring with a strike that soared past the South Korean goalkeeper just seconds before halftime.

South Korean substitute Yoo Young-a equalized in the second half from Jeon Ga-eul’s pass with just two minutes of regulation time remaining to force extra time.

Ra scored in each half of extra time, heading in Kim Kyong Hwa’s cross four minutes in and then scoring again to seal her team’s place in Monday’s final against Japan. The 22-year-old forward has scored three goals in these games.

South Korean coach Choi In-cheul said his team suffered from being down a player due to injury, and was exhausted from 120 minutes of game play.

“I congratulate the North Korean team because they won, but I think our team did the best they could,” he said.

The top-ranked North Koreans have won the gold at the last two Asian Games and are confident of defending their title.

The head coach for North Korea, Kim Kwang Min, praise his team’s speed as a key factor in their win against the South Koreans, but said they are looking ahead to a tough match against Japan, which edged China 1-0 in extra time earlier Saturday.

“The Japanese team is one of the best in Asia,” he told a post-game news conference. “This match will be very competitive and difficult.”

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