FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: U.S. stutter, as Korea DPR get off to a flyer.
The U.S. got their U-17 World Cup campaign off to a slow start playing out a goalless draw in Baku earlier today.
Billed as a showdown between two of the games heavyweights, the game was ultimately a disappointment as both teams failed to score in a scrappy affair devoid of chances.
Rising star Summer Green had the U.S. first chance, when she managed to escape the attention of the French backline. However, the Michigan Hawks’ forward hit her shot straight at onrushing French keeper Romane Bruneau.
Les Bleuettes managed a couple of efforts from distance, before Toni Payne almost had the Stars and Stripes in at the half a goal up, however the French number one once again reacted well to maintain the parity.
The second half was more or less the same, with both side struggling to create any clear cut opening, though Lea Declerq did sting U.S. keeper Jane Campbell hands with a venomous free kick.
But just when it seemed the game was about to fizzle out, and end in a draw the U.S. scored with just seconds remaining on the clock. However, Green’s effort was adjudged to have been offside and the goal chalk off. But there was still time for a late U.S. charge, and they almost nicked it at the death when Darian Jenkins hit the side netting.
Elsewhere in Group B, Korea DPR sent out a chilling message to all their rivals with a merciless 11-0 destruction of Gambia.
Gambia, who are making their first ever appearance in a FIFA competition, were given a harsh introduction to life on the international stage by the 2008 champions.
The Koreans dominated from the get go, causing the debutants all manners of problems, and the only surprise was that it took them so long to open their account when Choe Yun Gyong knocked in a rebounded effort in the eighteenth. However, once the first goal went in the floodgates were open, and two goals in as many minutes put the game out of sight for Gambia with only 20 minutes played. By half time it was 6-0, and Korean forward Ri Un Sim bagging a first half hat trick.
If Gambia thought Korea DPR would relent in the second half they were mistaken, as the Koreans mercilessly scored another five goals past their unseasoned opponents, with midfielder Ri Kyong Hyang also registering a hat trick for the Koreans.
The game eventually finished 11-0 with referee Carina Vitulano ending Gambia’s torture with the final whistle.
Korea DPR will now face France on Tuesday, whilst the Stars and Stripes will hope to get their campaign up a running against Gambia on the same day.