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London 2012 Olympics

North Korea overcomes controversy, downs Colombia

North Korea and Colombia were both ready and waiting in the tunnel to make their entrances. There was just one small issue: The screens at Hampden Park in Scotland weren’t actually showing the flag of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Instead, the flags displayed at the stadium were of South Korea, or officially the Republic of Korea. Perhaps a small difference but one with large ramifications for North Korea, who refused to play until it was resolved. The delay of game lasted over an hour.

When kick-off finally came, North Korea earned the win over Colombia with two goals from Kim Song-Hui, placing them on top of Group G with the United States with 3 points each. North Korea could prove an interesting challenge for both France and the US, although both teams should have a better idea of the North Korean side after scouting today’s game.

The first goal from Kim Song-Hui in the 39th minute won’t win any awards for the best goal of the day, but give North Korea credit for putting pressure on Colombia in the box and taking advantage of two poor clearances. Play turned sloppy for both sides as the game went on, with both teams trading giveaways. Overall, Colombia struggled for most of the game to handle North Korea’s efforts, and the second goal for Kim Song-Hui saw everything go wrong for Colombia that could possibly go wrong.

What should have been a routine catch for Sandra Sepulveda off an easy cross from North Korea’s Myong-Gum Kim was anything but. She dropped it right in the path of a streaking Kim Song-Hui, who was able to settle the ball and power it across the goal line. Colombia’s Ariza attempted to clear the ball, but she was well within the goal and it was correctly counted by the referees.

North Korea could fulfill dreams of making it past the group stages by sneaking in as a third place contender, although without having seen the results against a quality team such as France or United States it’s still too early to call. Colombia had the weakest game out of the field for the first six matches, but judging on their friendlies before the Olympics started they could still prove to be a thorn in the side of France or the US. North Korea faces France, which will be a must-win for France, and Colombia will aim to minimize the damage from the US in their respective matches on Saturday.


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