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North Korea, South Africa book tickets to 2012 Olympics

North Korea qualified for the 2012 London Olympics on Sunday with a 5-0 victory over Thailand. DPR Korea joins world champion Japan as the two Olympic qualifiers out of the Asian Football Confederation.

Needing a victory to keep its hopes alive, Australia defeated South Korea 2-1 on Sunday to put pressure on DPR Korea to win. But the North Koreans did exactly that, defeating a Thailand team that failed to win a game in five attempts and scored just one goal in the qualifying tournament.

Choe Mi-gyong opened the scoring for DPR Korea 30 minutes into the match and Yun Song-mi doubled the lead five minutes later. Ra Un-sim scored twice in the second half and Kim Un-hwa added another as DPR Korea cruised to victory.

The 2012 London Olympics will be DPR Korea’s last major tournament for at least four years. Last month FIFA announced the disqualification of DPR Korea from the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada after five players tested positive for banned substances.

South Africa Qualifies

South Africa is also headed to London next summer after defeating Ethiopia 4-1 on aggregate. The Banyana Banyana secured their spot with a 1-1 draw on Sunday after defeating Ethiopia 3-0 in the opening leg of the home-and-home series. This will be South Africa’s first-ever appearance in women’s soccer at the Olympics.

Nigeria and Cameroon are yet to complete the second leg of their series, which was previously scheduled for this past weekend. Nigeria holds a 2-1 aggregate lead on Cameroon. According to the BBC, the return leg will be played in Cameroon on Oct. 22.

DPR Korea and South Africa join Japan, Sweden, France, Brazil, Colombia and Great Britain as the teams currently qualified for London 2012. Still up for grabs are two spots in CONCACAF as well as one spot in Oceania and the final spot out of Africa.

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