NICOLA ABERCROMBIE / AIPS Young Reporters* / BAKU: For the second time in the tournament’s history, North Korea will contest the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup title after beating Germany 2-1 in the 8KM Stadium.
The two sides had met twice before – a draw in 2008 and a win for the Koreans in 2010 – making this the most played fixture in the history of this young tournament.
After a lacklustre win over Canada in the quarter-finals, the North Koreans played with much more intensity and purpose. They dominated possession with 64 per cent and racked up 12 shots in the first half compared with Germany’s four – which all came in the opening 30 minutes.
Tournament top scorer Ri Un-Sim had her first opportunity after 16 minutes but it was easily collected by keeper Merle Frohms.
The Golden Boot had her best chance five minutes later but, with the goal at her mercy, she pushed the ball wide of the post. She ended the match scoreless for the first time in this tournament.
Korean pressure was finally rewarded six minutes before halftime when Kim So Hyang pounced on a fortunate deflection off Lena Lueckel.
The Germans tried to respond in the second half by bringing on defender Sarah Schulte fpr midfielder Beil but it was Koreans who scored again, just two minutes after the break, with Hyang collecting her second of the night.
Luckless Lueckel’s misjudged header provided the opening for Hyang to beat keeper Frohms.
The Germans pulled one back 10 minutes later through quarter-final hero Rebecca Knaak but the Koreans held out to claim their place in Saturday’s final againstFrancein the Tofig Bakramov stadium.
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** AIPS, the international sports media association, is running a Young Reporters course at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup with the co-operation of FIFA and supported by the Azeri Ministry of Youth & Sport
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