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S. Korean women's football team returns home from N. Korea after Asian Cup qualifying success

All Headlines 17:56 April 13, 2017

By Joo Kyung-don

SEOUL, April 13 (Yonhap) -- The South Korean women's national football team returned home on Thursday from North Korea after qualifying for the top Asian competition next year.

South Korea, led by head coach Yoon Duk-yeo, won the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup Group B qualifying tournament in Pyongyang, where they competed against North Korea, Uzbekistan, Hong Kong and India.

South Korea and North Korea finished tied at 10 points with the identical records of three wins and a draw. The South, however, had a better goal difference, plus-20 to plus-17, and claimed the top spot in Group B.

As the winner of the qualifying event, only South Korea will compete at the 2018 Asian Cup in Jordan, which also doubles as the regional qualification for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France. The top-five teams among eight nations at the Asian tournament will punch their tickets to the women's showpiece event. South Korea have played at the 2003 and 2015 Women's World Cups.

In this photo provided by the Asian Football Confederation, the South Korea women's national football team celebrates after winning the Women's Asian Cup Group B qualifying tournament in Pyongyang on April 11, 2017. (Yonhap)

Yoon's squad landed in Seoul via Beijing after staying in the North Korean capital for 10 days for the football competition.

Any trip to the North requires the South's approval, as well as the North's consent, as the two Koreas technically remain 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.

kdon@yna.co.kr
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