Canada fall 2-1 to Korea DPR in final group match

Red and White wrap up play at Japan 2012

Canada U-20 Korea DPR

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Canada fell 2-1 to Korea DPR in the group finale of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012. Up a goal after 12 minutes, Canada conceded goals on either side of the break in a match it had to win to escape a difficult group phase.

HIGHLIGHTS

Korea DPR won the group with three straight victories, including Monday's win over Canada at Komaba Stadium in Saitama, Japan. Goalscorers in the match were Christine Exeter for Canada and both Kim Un Hwa and Yun Hyon Hi for Korea DPR. The winning goal was scored by Yun on a penalty kick in the 78th minute.

Canada opened the scoring in the 12th minute after a quick play through the midfield. Vanessa Legault-Cordisco started the play on the right side by playing the ball into the middle to Adriana Leon. On her first touch, Leon played the ball forward through a gap in the Korea DPR defence. Christine Exeter picked up the pass, rolled off right back Pong Son Hwa, and fired the ball past goalkeeper O Chang Ran for a 1-0 lead.

As the first half progressed, however, Korea DPR started to turn the tide, then eventually equalised in the 33rd minute. After a Canadian turnover in the Korea DPR end, Jon Myong Hwa strode down the pitch before passing forward to teammate Kim Un Hwa. Kim had time for eight touches on the ball en route to goal, moving across the top of the box before firing her shot through a pair of Canadian defenders. The shot from the right beat a diving Sabrina D'Angelo into the left corner of goal.

The play remained even for more than 40 minutes before Korea DPR got the winner on a penalty in the 78th minute. With Korea DPR pressing, Yun Hyon Hi evaded a Legault-Cordisco sliding tackle before she was taken down in the box by Rachel Melhado. Yun then scored on the ensuing penalty kick, firing to the right with D'Angelo diving left.

Just a few minutes after the penalty goal, Korea DPR had another terrific chance after a defensive clearing and Kim Un Hwa pass sent Kwon Song Hwa in all alone. D'Angelo stood her ground, moved out to challenge the shooter, and made a terrific save to keep the goal difference at just one.

With less than a 10 minutes to play, however, Canada could not find the break it needed to score two goals and steal back a win against the top-ranked Koreans.

For this match, Canada's starting XI featured Sabrina D'Angelo in goal, Vanessa Legault-Cordisco at right back, Rachel Melhado and Shelina Zadorsky at centre back, Kylie Davis at left back, and Sarah Robbins, Danica Wu, Christine Exeter, Christabel Oduro, Jenna Richardson and Adriana Leon from the midfield up through to the attack.

In the second half, coach Andrew Olivieri replaced Oduro with Catherine Charron-Delago (46'), Davis with Mélissa Roy (56'), and Exeter with Nkem Ezurike (56').

Korea DPR's starting XI featured O Chang Ran in goal, Pong Son Hwa at right back, Kim Nam Hui and Ri Nam Sil at centre back, Yun Song Mi at left back, Kim Su Gyong, Jon Myong Hwa, Kim Un Hyang and captain O Hui Sun in the midfield, and Yun Hyon Hi and Kim Un Hwa up front.

In the second half, coach Sin Ui Gun replaced Kim Su Gyong with Kwon Song Hwa (65'), Kim Un Hwa with Yu Jong Im (85'), and O Hui Sun with Kim Un Ha (89'). Substitute Kwon Song Hwa was shown a yellow card in the 75th minute.

The Canada-Korea DPR match was played in front of a reported 4,182 fans. Canada's player of the match was captain Shelina Zadorsky.