DPR Korea show no mercy to Thailand: AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2006 (July 18 2006)

ADELAIDE: DPR Korea ripped apart Thailand 9-0 to launch their campaign for a third consecutive AFC Women’s Asian Cup title in imperious style here at the Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday.

The young Thais were able to keep in check the feared Korean juggernaut for all of eight minutes after which Ri Kum Suk set the rout well and truly underway with a right-footed scorcher which beat goalkeeper Kanyawee Sudtawee hands down.

Sudtawee had to pick out the ball eight more times from her net on a cold and windy day as Korea showed little mercy and if anything the pace of destruction only quickened with every goal.

Ri, top-scorer in 2001 and 2003, made light of her markers and scored another goal in the 34th minute off a solo run which saw the 27-year-old weave her way through the Thai midfield and past the defence with ease.

Before Ri grabbed her brace, Ru Un Suk made it 2-0 on 31 minutes after a lull in scoring which saw no goals conceded for 23 minutes though the Koreans threatened every now and then.

Kim Than Sil (36) and Ho Sun Hui (43; powerful shot from 20 metres out) climbed onto the scoresheet as the floodgates opened.

The first period finished 5-0 in favour of the champions and coach Kim Kwang Min, assured in the knowledge that the job was done, replaced Ri and Pak Kyong Sun with Jo Yun Mi and Kim Yong Ae in the second half.

The first goal into the restart was pumped in by substitute Jo Yun Mi on the hour mark after collecting a long ball from Jong Sun Jong on her chest and muffling the bounce before arrowing it home.

With over 30 minutes left on the clock, the match was well and truly out of bounds for the crestfallen Thais and their defence caved in completely, allowing Kim Yong Ae (67, 87) and Kim Than Sil (73) to bulge the net.

There were times in the match when the whole Korean team looked to have set up camp in the Thai half and the force they could summon was so overpowering that teenaged Thai striker Pitsamai Sornsai hardly got a look-in.

The only previous meeting between these two teams had produced a similar 5-0 verdict in favour of the Koreans in 1989.

DPR Korea coach Kim said his women had concentrated on a producing a good result. “Today’s match was okay but we had a little difficulty in terms of our combination and physical levels,” said Kim.

“Since this was our first match a good start was important. We concentrated on this match a lot.”

“The cold weather influenced our performance a bit as it makes it difficult to move. We will improve as we go along.”

The Thai coach was left shaking his head after the game but tried to draw the positives. “I am happy that we could compete against this strong side. To develop our game we need to face such teams. This was a good experience for my young team and will motivate us to play well in the next two matches,” said Yapaha.

The result will allow Kim’s team to go into their match against Myanmar with nothing but confidence on July 20 while Thailand try to figure out what hit them and recover before their face-off against Korea Republic on the same day.