December 5, 2016

Korea DPR are the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Champions

They had to come from behind to beat France 3-1 before a capacity National Football Stadium in Port Moresby on Saturday night.

Both sides started off confidently with confident passing, open play and organised defense.

France finally made the early breakthrough in the 17th minute from a free-kick by Maelle Garbino from outside the 18 yard box. The direct kick to the goal-mouth was not handled well by Korea DPR goal-keeper Kim Myong Sun who deflected it to the waiting Grace Geyoro to nudge through the opening goal despite heavy traffic.

France took the initiative to step up the campaign through mid-fielder Delphine Cascarino and strikers Carla Mateo and Grace Geyoro stepping up the tempo.

Despite being down 1-0 Korea DPR didn’t panic and kept to their slick passing game.

Finally an opening created by a Kim So Hyang break found Kim Phyong Hwa in space on the left and then the timely cross to the penalty box area found their ever lurking Wi Jong Sim to flick in the equaliser.

Following the break, Korea DPR finally broke the dead-lock in the second half, to get their second-goal thanks to a header by Kim Phyong Hwa, causing the 14,752 plus crowd to go into a frenzy.

By the 70th minute France showed signs of fatigue as Korea DPR sent in popular Number Two Sung Hyang-Sim, to invigorate their attack.

17 minutes later it was all over, Jon So Yong was awarded a penalty and did what she knows best for a 3-1 lead.

France tried to rally a last ditch effort in injury time but, their late attempts at goal by forwards Marie-Charlotte Leger, Laura Condon and Carla Mateo were saved by Korea DPR keeper Kim Myong Sun.

This is Korea DPR’s second FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title. The first was in 2006.

Meanwhile,  Papua New Guinea has successfully hosted one of the world’s prestigious tournament that attracted 15 powerful nations - the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup tournament that concluded in Port Moresby at the weekend.

Prime Minister Peter O’Neill, who did the honours by presenting awards to the champion players from Korea DPR, France and Japan, said he was a proud man.

O’Neill said the success of the FIFA World Cup has been an opportunity for Papua New Guinea to once again showcase the nation to the world.

He praised the public’s participation at the tournament singling out that the people had been the perfect hosts for the football world and outstanding ambassadors.

"It is not the Government that hosts our FIFA World Cup, it is the people that has hosted this FIFA World Cup and you have all done us proud," O’Neill said.

"The players and officials from around the world have been so impressed with our hospitality, our culture and our friendship.

"To the players and official of every team, I thank you for coming to Papua New Guinea. I thank you for being with our people and the bonds that you have developed with our communities.".