By ISAAC LIRI
NORTH Korea’s coach Yongbong Hwang has shared a piece of the secret to the huge success at the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup and why they are such a strong side.
Hwang’s team have won all their games in the tournament and are strong contenders for the top prize.
Having five appearances in the global tournament in the previous years and winning it 10 years ago on their debut in Russia 2006, North Korea have maintained their quality and consistency to be considered one of the best sides at this level.
Earlier in the quarterfinal stage, Spanish coach Pedro Lopez said that North Korea were favourites to win this tournament as they played an outstanding, structured style of football.
“Back home in North Korea, we have good women’s football programmes,” Hwang said.
“Our government has been investing in women’s football for a long time.
“We also have a very good grassroots programme focused on women’s football.
“We wish Papua New Guinea success after hosting this tournament in the years to come.” With their recent success so far, Hwang said after the semi-final against the US he had to remind his players to push on as they sustained their fitness level all throughout the 90 minutes regular time and onto the 30 minutes of extra-time.
“I told my players that we had made it this far and we must make sure all our hard training is not wasted,” Hwang said.
He also revealed that their objective of coming to PNG was to win the cup.
As they prepare to face France on Saturday at the National Football Stadium, Hwang said they would continue to apply the similar type of football they have been playing since the start of the tournament.
“Before we arrived in PNG, our goal was to win this tournament and as expected we have qualified for the grand final now,” the 47-year old said.
“From the previous tournament two years ago in Canada I got great experience and made it my goal to do well.
“Now I am confident we can take the trophy at this tournament,” he said.
By ISAAC LIRI