North Korea scored in extra time to knock Spain out of the U-20 World Cup after surrendering an early two-goal lead. North Korea led by two goals after a half hour courtesy of goals by Ju Hyo Sim and Ri Hyang Sim. Spain immediately put the pressure back on, cutting the lead to 2-1 eight minutes later through Nakihari Garcia, who had early put her side on top in the opening minutes. Lucia Garcia then found an equalizer in the 63rd minute. North Korea though, were the better side heading to and during extra time and were rewarded when Kim Phyong Hwa notched the game-winner at 106 minutes.
Spain coach Pedro Lopez praised his side in defeat. “I think that today we played our best game of the tournament against a very good side,” Lopez said in comments published on fifa.com. “The girls did everything possible to reach the semi-finals, but we dropped off physically during extra time. I’m proud of this group of players, who played possibly the most attractive football here at the tournament.”
North Korea are now two matches from being the first nation to win the U-17 and U-20 World Cups in the same year.
In the day’s other match, Japan made it a clean sweep for the far east by putting down Brazil, 3-1. Miyabi Moriya scored in first half stoppage time to put Japan on top and Shiho Matsubara subbed in after the break and added a pair of her own. Only a stoppage time penalty by Gabi Nunes prevented the shutout.
The quarterfinals will conclude early Friday with two intra-federation contests. The United States will face Mexico (1 a.m. EST, FS1) and the Germany will square off against France (4:30 a.a. EST, FS1). The U.S.-Mexico winner will play North Korea.
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