Wuhan: DPR Korea successfully defended their EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) Women’s East Asian Cup title on Saturday when a 2-0 victory over Korea Republic saw the champions conclude the four-team, round robin tournament with a 100% record.
The North Koreans began the defence of the title they won two years ago in Seoul with a 4-2 victory over Japan before fending off an impressive fightback from 2015 tournament hosts China, who clawed back a two-goal deficit only to go down 3-2 as Wi Jong-sim’s 69th minute winner set up Saturday’s decisive Korean derby with their neighbours, who also boasted a 100% record going into the match at the Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium.
Yun Song-mi put the defending champions ahead with 22 minutes played before Ra Un-sim, whose brace in the last 11 minutes of the opening match contributed to DPR Korea’s victory over a second-string Nadeshiko, extended the advantage seven minutes after the interval with her third of the campaign.
As it transpired, Ra’s goal completed the scoring as the reigning champions ensured the trophy would return to Pyongyang on the back of a perfect campaign for the North Korean ladies.
Japan, whose squad included just six players from the side that finished runners-up at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, took third place after goals in the last two minutes from Kumi Yokoyama (88th) and Ami Sugita (90th) saw the reigning Asian champions defeat China 2-0 in the later fixture at the Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium.
Wuhan: A Korea derby will decide the winners of the EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) Women’s East Asian Cup 2015 after defending champions DPR Korea and Korea Republic both registered their second victories in the four-team round robin tournament, with wins over Japan and China respectively on Tuesday.
A stoppage-time goal saw Japan crash to their second defeat at the Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium as a second-string Nadeshiko let slip a first-half lead to go down 2-1 to Korea Republic while the North Koreans saw off the challenge of hosts China, who had clawed back a two-goal deficit only to see their slim chances of a first EAFF title end when the cup holders scored again to run out 3-2 winners
Emi Nakajima put a Japanese side that featured just six players from the side that finished runners-up at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup 1-0 up on the half-hour mark before two second-half goals turned the contest in the South Koreans’ favour.
Taeguek Nangja skipper Cho So-hyun cancelled out the INAC Kobe Leonessa midfielder’s opener before Cho’s Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels’ team-mate Jeon Ga-eul struck three minutes into second-half stoppage time as Korea Republic made it two wins out of two following their opening day win over China.
The Chinese went into Tuesday’s later fixture looking to bounce back from their 1-0 loss to Korea Republic on the opening day but the tournament hosts found themselves on the back foot with just five minutes played, when Kim Yun-mi put the North Koreans 1-0 before Wi Jong-sim doubled the advantage in the 24th minute with the first of her brace.
Li Dongna reduced the deficit from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute and just seven minutes after the interval China completed the comeback courtesy of Wang Shanshan, who highlighted her eye for goal at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup where she found the target against New Zealand and Cameroon.
But China were left playing catch up once again when Wi struck her second in the 69th minute with what transpired to be the winning goal, as DPR Korea joined their southern neighbours at the top-of-the-table ahead of the decisive Korea-derby on Saturday, which will determine the 2015 EAFF champions.
Wuhan: DPR Korea upset favourites Japan as they beat the Asian giants 2-1 in their EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) East Asian Cup 2015 campaign opener at the Wuhan Sports Center Stadium in China on Sunday.
The Japanese took the lead within three minutes through Urawa Reds star and international debutant Yuki Muto thanks to a Wataru Endo assist.
Vahid Halilhodzic’s side went into the break having maintained their slender advantage, but the North Koreans drew level late on in the second half when Ri Hyok-chol equalised on 78 minutes, before Pak Hyong-il found the net two minutes from time to give Kim Chang-bok’s charges all three points.
In the day's other game, Korea Republic beat China 2-0 to go to the top table above DPR Korea in the four-team tournament.
Pohang Steelers striker Kim Seung-dae opened the scoring on the stroke of half time thanks to a pass from Lee Jae-sung, before Lee Jong-ho doubled their lead on 57 minutes to give Uli Stielike's side the win.
The regional tournament, which is being seen an ideal opportunity for teams to prepare for Spetember's 2018 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup 2019 joint qualifiers, will continue on Wednesday with Japan taking on Korea Republic and China facing DPR Korea.
Wuhan: There were wins for DPR Korea and Korea Republic on the opening day of EAFF (East Asian Football Federation) Women’s East Asian Cup 2015 on Saturday as the North Koreans defeated Japan 4-2 while their southern neighbours edged tournament hosts China 1-0.
The opening match of the four-team round robin tournament brought together DPR Korea, the defending champions, and 2013 runners-up Japan, who retained just six players from the squad that reached the final of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup as head coach Norio Sasaki cast his eye over the next generation of Nadeshiko players.
DPR Korea twice took the lead through Ri Ye-gong only for Rika Masuya and Ami Sugita to level for Japan before a late Ra Un-sim doubled sealed victory for the reigning champions.
“We played the way we had pictured in our minds but gave away two cheap goals near the end,” Japan’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup-winning coach told the Japan Times.
“That was a bit of a waste. They tricked us well but this is a good lesson for us.”
DPR Korea should have take a 23rd minute lead but Japan keeper Erina Yamane did well to keep out Kim Un-ju’s penalty, which was awarded after midfielder Mai Kyokawa was adjudged to have fouled North Korean skipper Ra in the area.
However, the defending champions did go into the interval at the Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium with the advantage after Ri got on the end of Yun Song-min’s 36th minute free-kick to slot the opening goal past Yamane.
DPR Korea’s lead lasted just four minutes into the second half when Masuya fired home into the top corner after collecting a free-kick from Megumi Kamionobe, one of the veterans of Japan’s Canada 2015 campaign, before Ri restored her side’s advantage in the 66th minute, with Ra setting up her team-mate’s second of the match following a well-worked move that began with Kim Yun-mi’s sublime pass.
Japan levelled four minute later when Sugita scored her first international goal but again parity was short-lived as Ra went from provider to scorer in the 79th minute before completing her brace and the 4-2 victory just two minutes later.
In Saturday’s later match at the same venue, Jung Seol-bin’s first-half strike was enough to ensure it was a Korean double on the opening day of the championship, with the 25-year-old Incheon Red Angels midfielder’s 27th minute strike enough for Korea Republic to defeat fellow 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup participants China 1-0.