Asians rule pitch


THE North Korean juggernaut rolled through to the semifinals of the Fifa Under-20 Women’s World Cup with a stirring 3-2 win over a brave Spain in the opening fixture of the quarterfinal stage yesterday. Japan cemented their credentials as genuine contenders with a 3-1 dismantling of Brazil in the second match.
Coach Asako Takakura’s side advance to play the winners of the Germany-France clash this evening while North Korea lie in wait for the winners of the USA-Mexico stoush that kicks off today’s quarterfinal matches at the Sir John Guise Stadium.
The hard-to-please North Korean coach Hwang Yongbong, might not be completely satisfied with his side’s win over Spain but even he could not deny that his side have gained significant momentum on their way to a potential December 3rd final — provided they handle their business next Tuesday.
Undoubtedly, Asia’s two best sides, North Korea and Japan dispatched their quarterfinal opponents with high efficiency, particularly Japan, who held a 3-0 advantage for much of their game against Brazil, who only scored a consolation goal through a Gabi Nunes penalty in injury time.
Germany’s clash with France could be a gruelling affair with the winner needing to reset for an even tougher semifinal against a well-rested Japan.
The North Koreans on the other hand seem to have the easier route to the final when they play the winner of USA-Mexico, with neither side having shown the kind of form needed to beat the formidable Koreans.

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