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North Korean women’s soccer loses silver to Japan after beating South Korea in quarterfinals

North Korea’s women’s soccer team lost to Japan in the final of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games to claim the silver medal.

North Korea lost 1-4 to Japan in the women’s football final of the tournament at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Saturday.

North Korea, which won the 2002 Busan, 2006 Doha and 2014 Incheon tournaments, had to settle for a silver medal after losing to Japan in the quarterfinals at the Jakarta-Palembang Games five years ago.

Japan, on the other hand, won its second consecutive Asian Games women’s soccer title in 2018 and third overall, including the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, joining North Korea and China (1990-1994-1998) as the most decorated Asian Games women’s soccer nations.

Women’s soccer has been played at the Asian Games nine times, with Japan, North Korea and China sharing the gold medal three times.

North Korea came out firing in the early stages of the match, cheered on by their home supporters and the friendly Chinese crowd, but it was Japan who scored first.

In the 11th minute, Yuzuki Yamamoto’s diagonal cross from the right flank landed squarely in the back of the net, and from the penalty arc, Yoshino Nakashima took advantage of the gap left by goalkeeper Kim Eun-hwi to open the scoring with her right foot.

North Korea, who had drawn up the line and found space in the back, suffered a setback in the 14th minute when Ahn Myong-sung, who had been sparkling at the forefront of the offense, was forced off with a knee injury.

After complaining of pain, Ahn Myong-sung was stretchered off and replaced by Seung Hyang-sim.

However, the DPRK managed to redress the balance before the end of the first half.

In the 38th minute, the Japanese defense failed to clear a low cross from the left flank by Woo Jeong-sim, and Kim Yong-yong finished with her left foot for her 12th goal of the tournament.

Japan made a game-changing substitution to start the second half, bringing on two strikers, but the North Korean attack and Japan’s desperate defense didn’t make it any easier.

After trying to find a breakthrough with passing plays but failing to create any decisive chances, Japan turned the tide with a set piece.

In the 21st minute of the second half, Momoko Tanikawa’s left corner kick was headed home by Haruka Osawa, one of the strikers who had been substituted at the start of the second half.

While North Korea’s nerves were frayed, Japan gained momentum in the second half with a mid-range shot from 2005-born midfielder Tanikawa in the 24th minute and a wedge from Remina Chiba in the 27th minute to take full control.

North Korea tried to fight back in the second half by making three changes at once, including switching goalkeepers from Kim Eun-hwi to Lee Jong-geum in the 30th minute, but the players’ morale had already plummeted.

North Korea has made a lot of noise in soccer at the tournament.

In the women’s soccer quarterfinals, there were controversial calls, including the unceremonious ejection of South Korean forward Son Hwa-yeon (Hyundai Steel), and the team was also criticized for rough play.

In the men’s soccer quarterfinals, North Korean players, who lost 1-2 to Japan, shoved the referee and threatened Japanese medical staff, prompting Japan to lodge a complaint with FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

Earlier, in the bronze medal match, hosts China thrashed Uzbekistan 7-0 to earn their second consecutive podium finish after winning silver at the 2018 tournament.

The tournament’s top scorer was North Korea’s Kim Yong-yong, who netted 12 goals. 파워볼게임


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