Canada claim second point, remain undefeated, at 2014 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup

A late Korea DPR own goal gave Canada’s women’s U-17 team a second point at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup as they picked up a 1-1 draw Tuesday in Costa Rica.

Sung Hyang Sim had given Korea the lead in the 54th minute but Kim Jong Sum poked the ball into her own net in the final 10 minutes, as Canada moved into second place in group B with the draw.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Girls Elite defenders Simmrin Dhaliwal and Rachel Jones both appeared for Canada in the match. Dhaliwal started and played 81 minutes, before getting replaced by Jones.

“They showed real resilience and it’s one of the things they want to be known for,” said head coach Bev Priestman of her team’s perseverance against the runners-up from the tournament of two years ago. “All credit to Korea, they came at us. Tactically, they caused us some problems but there are some special girls in this team and they stood out tonight.”

After a quiet start, the game roared to life in the last 15 minutes of the first half as both teams had chances that could have easily seen them go in front.

In the 31st minute, Canada couldn’t clear a Korean free kick from the right side but they caught a huge break when they saw a resulting shot come back off the post and then, finally, they were able to clear it from danger.

Canada quickly came back the other way and Jessie Fleming hit a long-range shot that caught the Korean goalkeeper, Kim Myong Sun, off her line. Unfortunately for Fleming, the ball came back off the crossbar.

At the start of the second half, Canada started to find some success on the wings as they managed to cross in dangerously on a few different occasions. In the 53rd minute, Gabrielle Carle got her head to a cross from the left side but as was the case with Fleming’s chance in the first half, it came back agonizingly off the bar.

Korea came right back and really controlled much of the second half before finally taking the lead. Canadian goalkeeper Devon Kerr dove to her right to parry a Korean shot but she couldn’t hold it and the Koreans followed the play in smartly and crossed in from the left and Sung was right in front to tap-in from just a few yards out.

Canada really didn’t look like they had a goal in them, as Korea continued to press but the Koreans inability to put the game away ultimately cost them. In the 86th minute, Carle put in a dangerous cross from the right that wasn’t touched by any teammate but was redirected just over the line by Kim Jong Sim.

“Never give up. Never, ever give up. And you could argue we deserved something from the first game and a bit of luck was on our side tonight,” said Priestman. “But you know, we hit the crossbar twice and the girls are trying to live the way we want to live and I’m just really proud of them.”

The team will take a final day in Liberia, Costa Rica before making the long drive to San Jose, where they’ll take on Ghana in Tibas on Saturday. Ghana are already through as group winners after winning their first two games.