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S. Korean women's football team wins Asian Cup qualifying opener in N. Korea

All News 20:46 April 05, 2017

PYONGYANG, April 5 (Joint Press Corps) -- South Korea made a victorious start to their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup qualifying campaign in North Korea on Wednesday as they trounced India 10-0.

South Korea, led by head coach Yoon Duk-yeo, poured out five goals in each half against India to collect their first win in Group B, where they are also paired with North Korea, Uzbekistan and Hong Kong. All Group B matches are staged at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang.

The qualifying campaign will run until next Tuesday and only the group winner will advance to the 2018 Asian Cup in Jordan, which also doubles as the qualifying tournament for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup.

North Korea are currently the leaders with two straight victories. The hosts of the tournament routed India 8-0 in their opener on Monday and beat Hong Kong 5-0 earlier Wednesday.

With the South Korean flag hanging at Kim Il-sung Stadium for the first time, the Taeguk Ladies took the lead in the 12th minute with Kang Yu-mi's goal. South Koreans doubled the lead in the 19th when Lee Min-a found the net.

Forward Lee Geum-min then grabbed a brace to give a comfortable cushion for South Korea on a rain-soaked pitch. She first beat Indian goalkeeper Panthoi Chanu in the 28th before scoring another eight minutes later. Yoon's side closed the first half with a goal from defender Lee Eun-mi in the stoppage time.

South Korea struggled to get on the board in the early second half. However, they scored five goals starting from the 78th and completed a 10-0 win.

South Korean women's national team players celebrate after Lee Eun-mi (4th from L) scored a goal against India during their AFC Women's Asian Cup Group B qualifying match at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on April 5, 2017. (Joint Press Corps)

South Korea will next face North Korea on Friday. The winner of the much-anticipated all-Korean showdown is expected to clinch the top spot in the group considering that neither the South nor the North are likely to lose to low-ranked competitors.

North Korea are ranked No. 10 in the latest FIFA rankings, followed by South Korea (No. 17), Uzbekistan (No. 42), India (No. 56) and Hong Kong (No. 65).

The South Korean squad landed in Pyongyang on Monday after receiving visas from the North Korean embassy in Beijing. Any trip to the North requires the South's approval, as well as the North's consent, as the two Koreas have technically remained in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The Seoul government last month gave the green light to the football team's visit to Pyongyang after the North assured the safety of the South Koreans via the AFC.


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