|Baku: Ri Un-sim’s late brace catapulted inaugural champions DPR Korea into the semi-finals as they beat Canada 2-1 in their FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2012 outing at 8-km Stadium, Azerbaijan, on Thursday.|
The Koreans will meet their semi-final opponents next Tuesday, either in the form of Germany or Brazil, which will be decided in their quarter-final match on Friday.
Summer Clarke and Nichelle Prince were the ones who got the Canadians to a brighter start when they got behind the Koreans’ backline, but they squandered both chances. Ri Hyang-sim also should have done better for DPR Korea, having earlier on miss-hit a cut-back from Ri Kyong-hyong and cross from Ri Kum-suk.
Choe Yun-gyong and skipper captain Choe Choung-bok tried from a distance as the Koreans took control of the slow half but failed to create clear-cut chances. A cross from Ri Hyang-sim did find Choe Yun-gyong free at the far post on 27 minutes but her header sailed straight to goalkeeper Kalien Sheridan.
The Asians remained in control with coach Hwang Yong-bong making two substitutions but chances were still at a premium.
The second half slowly started with Summer Clarke jolting the Koreans after being put through by Nichelle Prince but the ball only rattled the bar. The Koreans hit back but Sheridan was up to the task against efforts from Ri Kyong-hyong and Choe Yun-Gyong.
The elusive goal finally arrived after 78 minutes when Ri Hyang-sim displayed a superb skill to beat the Canadian full-back to cross from the right and found undefended striker Ri Un-sim at the back post.
It was game over on 87 minutes, Ri Un-sim pouncing on a loose ball to slot home and bag her seventh of the tournament.
Nichelle Prince took the Canadians one up on 90+1 minutes but it was too little too late to make a difference.
"I’m very happy of today’s performance,” said coach Hwang. “I think we played very well, as Canada is a strong team, that nobody can’t underestimate.
“The key to the match was tactical. The two changes I made in the first half paid off – I did it because I thought Canada was very dangerous on this wing."
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