- Korea DPR, Japan book U-20 Women’s World Cup places
- Both will contest Saturday’s AFC U-19 Women’s Championship final
- One remaining berth for global finals available in Asia
Korea DPR and Japan became the latest teams to book their places at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2020 after advancing to the final of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in Thailand.
Two goals from Kim Kyong-yong within the opening ten minutes gave Korea DPR a dream start in their 3-1 semi-final victory against Korea Republic, before substitute Pak Il-gyong drilled the ball past goalkeeper Kim Sujeong to make it three after the break.
Korea Republic hit back with a consolation from the penalty spot through skipper Kang Jiwoo before the hour-mark, as Korea DPR booked their place at an eighth successive U-20 Women’s World Cup. They have claimed the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship once – in 2007 – and the global title in the age group twice: 2006 and 2016.
“I thought our players performed very well throughout the match and I believe that their tremendous sense of spirit and collectivism was one of the main factors behind the win,” head coach Son Sung-gwon told the the-afc.com. “Having made the final, the players will now do their absolute best to win the title.”
Later in the day, reigning U-20 Women’s World Cup queens Japan went a step closer to defending their continental crown after a dominant 7-0 semi-final victory against Australia. In the first half, the Young Nadeshiko scored twice in two minutes through an Oto Kanno penalty and Haruka Osawa’s close-range effort.
Things went from bad to worse after the break for the Young Matildas, who found themselves five goals down just seven minutes after the restart. Osawa doubled her tally on 48 minutes before Yuzuki Yamamoto slotted home the fourth two minutes later. Yamamoto then turned provider just two minutes after that when her inch-perfect cross was headed in by Sara Ito.
Maho Hirosawa then bagged a brace late on to make it seven and cap off a thunderous display by the Young Nadeshiko.
Japan were victorious at France 2018 after beating Spain in the final and could claim their third consecutive AFC U-19 Women’s Championship title with a win over Korea DPR on Saturday.
Asia’s third and final berth at the U-20 Women’s World Cup 2020 will also be decided on Saturday when Korea Republic and Australia go head to head in the third-place match.
The winner of that encounter will join New Zealand, Germany, Spain, France and the Netherlands, as well as Asian counterparts Korea DPR and Japan, at the global finals next year.