DPR Korea romp to 7-1 win over Thailand (March 10 2007)

KUALA LUMPUR: DPR Korea overcame an early scare to beat Thailand 7-1 and finish top of Group B in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship at the MPPJ Stadium on Saturday.

Despite conceding a third-minute goal, the Koreans dominated the match and completed their group games with a 100 per cent record, having defeated defending champions Japan 1-0 on Thursday.

DPR Korea led 5-1 at half-time as the brave Thais did their best to stem the flow. With the Koreans assured of a semi-final place, Thailand must now beat Japan on Monday if they are also to progress.

Korean coach Ri Ui-ham was happy to go through undefeated after what he described as an easy match.

“Everything that we wanted to do we were able to carry out today, so I’m happy,” said Ri. “We were a bit uncomfortable after they scored first but we managed to calm down and play our own game.”

Thailand coach Chana Yodprang was also satisfied with his team’s performance given the quality of their opponents.

“We had a great start but they equalised very quickly,” he said. “The main thing is that we were able to play against some world-class teams, and for us that is very important."

“This is the first time our players are competing in this kind of tournament.”

In a frenetic start to the match, Thailand took a stunning 1-0 lead after only three minutes through Rattikan Thongsombut.

The Thai celebrations, though, were brief. DPR Korea had an instant reply with Ho Un-byol equalizing just one minute later.

The Koreans then took charge of the match when, in the seventh minute, Yun Hyon-hi powered past Thai goalkeeper Pattamawadee Wongpota for a 2-1 scoreline.

Yun made it 3-1 two minutes later when her low shot hit a bump and sailed over Pattamawadee’s head.

The shell-shocked Thais looked as if they were in for a thrashing but held their nerve until the 26th minute when Korea scored again, with Ho converting a penalty.

Yun got her hat-trick and Korea’s fifth goal minutes before half time.

DPR Korea continued their quest for goals after the break and in the 48th minute, substitute Kim Un-ju found herself free in front of goal and made it 6-1.

Striker Ro Chol-uk was on hand to make it 7-1 in the 60th minute and there was no fighting back for Thailand at this stage.

Thailand must now hope for a miracle victory over Japan in their final match on Monday if they want to advance to the semi-finals.