February 24, 2004
by Jeremy Ruane
New Zealand 0 North Korea 11
The gulf in class and experience between the North Korean and New Zealand teams could not have been more emphatically emphasized than when they clashed in their final matches of the Australia Cup tournament at Brisbane's QE2 Stadium on February 24th.
North Korea, whose previous match against Australia had been abandoned at half-time due to an electrical storm, made their freshness count in no uncertain terms as they put their Kiwi counterparts to the sword. To the tune of 11-0 - a record defeat for New Zealand, and to add insult to injury, it was recorded in the country's one hundredth international milestone.
With a collective total of over one thousand international appearances between them - including four players each boasting over one hundred caps - it would have been a colossal upset had the far less experienced New Zealand
side - with just sixty-two caps between them in total prior to this tournament - recorded a victory over the reigning Asian champions.
So a North Korean triumph was no surprise. That New Zealand restricted their rampant opponents to just eleven goals, given their opponents superiority, was a credit to them - the margin of defeat could have been far greater!
The Kiwi women gave absolutely everything they had to give for the cause from start to finish, but it was never going to be enough against fresher, faster and more experienced opponents.
Quite simply, they were totally outclassed!!
New Zealand created a few chances of their own. Pip Meo had a fourth minute shot saved by Jong Hui Ri, while Simone Ferrara fired a twenty-five yarder over the bar in the eleventh minute, after working an opening with Hayley Moorwood. Ferrara's free-kick was blocked, and Rebecca Sowden's subsequent shot saved by Jong, six minutes before half-time, after Amber Hearn had been bundled down just outside the penalty area.
In the latter stages of the second spell, Naomi Clarke's twenty-five yard drive was saved by Kyong Hwa Chon, the Korean's reserve goalkeeper, who was looking on as Zoe Thompson thrashed a shot over the bar in stoppage time after being given the ball by Sowden following a Rachel Howard clearance. These moments apart, however, it was backs-to-the-wall stuff from the Kiwis, whose never-say-die attitude saw them thwart any number of North Korean raids, certainly far more than the eleven to which they succumbed.
The first attack materialised in the seventh minute, Kum Suk Ri getting to the byline before crossing for Chun Myong Sok. Jenny Bindon saved her effort, but was beaten all ends up eight minutes later. Chun picked up the pieces after a Korean attack had foundered on New Zealandıs defence, and flighted a lovely cross to the far post. Kum was lurking behind Brooke Rangi, and powerfully headed home inside Bindon's near post. The keeper redeemed herself when pawing a twenty-five yard piledriver from Kum round the post two minutes later, before a superb block by Maia Jackman thwarted Yong Hui Yun on the edge of the penalty area in the 21st minute.
Sixty seconds later, Jackman misjudged the flight of a Mi Ae Ra clearance, her header deflecting the ball into the path of Yong. She raced clear and crashed home North Korea's second goal.
After Rebecca Smith had produced a super tackle to thwart Kum's charge into the penalty area, and Bindon had finger-tipped a Chun screamer over the crossbar, North Korea scored their third goal in the 34th minute. Mi's corner to the far post cleared Smith's head, and Hyang Ok Ri darted in to send a header bulleting into the net from six yards. Bindon saved from Pok Sim Jong seconds before half-time, but was fishing the ball out of the net two minutes after the interval, as North Korea hit the ground running. Pok outpaced Rebecca Simpson down the left before pulling the ball back behind the retreating Jackman to Kum Ran O, who angled a splendid first-time shot into the top far corner of the net from twenty yards. 4-0 became 5-0 four minutes later. Kum Ran O's unchecked run through from midfield saw her latch onto Hye Yong Jon's early ball forward. The midfielderıs shot on the run was parried by Bindon, the ball squirming loose to allow Pyol to beat Simpsonıs despairing lunge and squeeze the ball home. After Jong Sun Song's twenty-five yard curler had narrowly missed the far post, the Koreans registered their sixth goal in the 59th minute. Chun maraudered down the left once more, past Simpson, and crossed to the far post. Pok headed the ball back across goal, and the unlucky Smith could not prevent the ball from cannoning off her into the net - the curse of the New Zealand Captain's armband had struck yet again!!!
Un Gyong Ri then fired wide from eighteen yards before the 62nd minute produced a seventh goal. Chun was again the architect. This time crossing to the near post for Pyol to steer home, past the wrong-footed Bindon in her last play before substitution. Five minutes later, Jackman - visibly struggling with knee and hamstring injuries but playing through the pain barrier for the cause once more - blocked a Kum Ran O cross, only for the ball to fall kindly to Pok, who crashed the ball home at the second attempt. She then netted her second goal of the game four minutes later, beating Meisha Pyke in the air to head home a Jong corner, despite Howard's despairing attempts to grab the ball before it spun over the line.
After Un had rattled the post, Chun crashed a twenty-five yard missile against the crossbar fifteen minutes from time. Jong gathered the rebound and crossed for Un to thump the ball home from fifteen yards to register double figures on the scoreboard.
Three minutes later, the final goal of the game saw Pyol register her hat-trick. Pok surged down the left past Pyke, then squeezed the ball inside to the goal scorer, who controlled, turned and neatly steered the sphere wide of Howard and beyond Zarnia Cogle's despairing attempt to clear. A fine tackle from Pyke to deny Un, and the intervention of the woodwork to thwart Chun's teasing cross-shot in the dying minutes, concluded the Australia Cup winnerıs footballing lesson, one from which the young New Zealand side will learn a great deal.
Jong Hui Ri (Kyong Hwa Chon, 46)
In Sil Yun (Hye Yong Jon, 46)
Mi Ae Ra (Kum Ran O, 46)
Kyong Hui Yang
Jong Sun Song
Kum Suk Ri (Pok Sim Jong, 44)
Sun Hui Ho (Hyang Ok Ri, 22 (booked, 38))
Ok Gyong Jang
Chun Myong Sok
Kyong Sun Pak (Pyol Hui Jin, 22)
Yong Hui Yun (Un Gyong Ri, 46)
Bindon (Howard, 62)
Jackman (Clapham, 74)
Smith (Pyke, 67)
Rangi (Gibbs, 58,)
Meo (Thompson, 37)
Hearn (Clarke, 67)
Referee Tammy Ogston (Australia)