November 16, 2008
U.S. FALLS IN FINAL
North Korea wins U-17 Womenís World Cup
AUCKLAND, New Zealand ---North Korea equalized with 13 minutes remaining in the game, then Jang Hyon Sun scored in the 13th minute of overtime for a 2-1 win over the United States in the championship game of the 2008 FIFA U-17 Womenís World Cup in front of a crowd of 16,162 at North Harbour Stadium.
The USA took an early lead on a strange goal in just the second minute of the match. Central defender Cloee Colohan sent a long throw-in from the right sideline and the Koreans let the ball bounce in the penalty area. In windy conditions, it took a huge hop over goalkeeper Hong Myong Hui, who jumped backwards for the ball, but only managed to push it into the net. Had she not touched the ball, the goal would not have counted, as a throw-in is an indirect set play.
North Korea equalized in the 77th minute when Ri Un Ae sent a 30-yard free-kick against the underside of the crossbar that bounced down. A North Korean player kept it alive at the left post, kicking the ball back over her head into the middle of the penalty area where Kim Un Hyang lofted a header into the left corner.
Sunís game winner came off a lighting counter-attack, as she cut inside from the left wing to lose a U.S. defender before rifling a right-footed shot from the top of the box that skipped just beyond goalkeeper Taylor Vancilís reach and into the lower left corner.
North Korea outshot the U.S. 31-16, but Vancil made 11 saves.
The U.S. also had a few chances to get the first goal in overtime. In the 93rd minute, Kristie Mewis bent a free-kick over the defensive wall from the right side of the penalty, but Hong made a solid save at the near post. In the 108th minute, another long-throw in from Colohan looked dangerous as it skipped off Samantha Mewisí head and to the head of substitute Samantha Johnson, but she couldnít turn it on goal.
Kristie Mewis also put a corner kick onto the head of her sister in the 109th minute, but Samantha Mewis sent it just over the crossbar. Just before North Koreaís goal, Samanth Johnson had a chance to put the U.S. ahead when she beat Hong to a loose ball in a scramble near the left post, but her spinning shot from an almost impossible angle on the left end line flew out of bounds on the other side of the goal.
In the third-place match, Germany defeated England, 3-0.