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S. Korean women's football coach says each goal matters in Asian Cup qualifying

All Headlines 22:19 April 05, 2017

PYONGYANG, April 5 (Joint Press Corps) -- South Korean women's national football team head coach Yoon Duk-yeo said Wednesday each goal matters in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup qualifying campaign as his side gears up for a showdown with North Korea after a 10-0 sweep of India in their opening match here.

Lee Geum-min scored a hat trick and Ji So-yun grabbed a brace at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang to help South Korea collect their first win in Group B, where they are paired with North Korea, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong and India.

"I think our players played well despite the harsh weather," Yoon said after the match was played on a rain-soaked pitch. "I think it's encouraging that many players were able to find their scoring instinct."

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).

Yoon said it's important to score as many goals as possible since the two Koreas could come down to goal difference -- the first tiebreaker when two teams are tied on points. 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 routed India 8-0 in their opener on Monday and beat Hong Kong 5-0 earlier Wednesday.

"Each and every goal is important," the coach said. "If the all-Korean match ends up in a draw, I think each and every goal will count in the end."

For Yoon, this is the second time that he has visited the North Korean capital to play football. He was a member of the men's national team that played a friendly match with North Korea in Pyongyang in 1990.

"It really reminds me of old memories again," he said. "I think lots of things have changed. I hope both Koreas play a good match tomorrow."

North Korea have dominant head-to-head against South Korea with 14 wins, one loss and two draws. South Korea's only victory came in 2005.

"I know the match against North Korea is not an easy one," he said. "But I believe if we can give our best efforts, we'll play a good game."

South Korean women's national football team head coach Yoon Duk-yeo speaks to reporters after his team defeated India 10-0 in the AFC Asian Women's Cup qualifying match at Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang on April 5, 2017. (Joint Press Corps)

kdon@yna.co.kr
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