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DPRK Reaches Semis of FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup
    2008-12-02 08:32:48     Xinhua
Holders DPR Korea booked passage to their second consecutive FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup semifinal on Monday after edging out East Asian neighbors Japan 2-1.

The win in the Chilean capital set up a mouthwatering last-four date with France, who beat Nigeria 3-2 on Sunday.

The Japanese, who have many fans in Chile with their stylish and highly technical brand of soccer, started the brighter side. Kie Koyama made three fine runs in the first quarter-hour, but failed to find the mark, steering her shots wide.

Cha Hu Nam punished the Japanese for their profligacy and opened the scoring for the DPR Korea after 22 minutes, combining well with Ri Jong Sim to score from close range.

Japan, the more creative of the two sides in the first half, equalized in the 39th minute. Asano Nagasato curled her free-kick from 20 yards around the wall and into the top corner of the net, leaving keeper Kim Un Ju with no chance to save.

But DPR Korea came out with increased vigor in the second period, and they took hold of the tense encounter by the scruff of the neck. Kim Chun Hui tried a long-range shot early, but failed to find the mark. Captain Ra Un Sim got it right on the hour mark.

Charging hard up the left side, she roared past three defenders before going into the box and scoring with her second attempt to make it 2-1.
 
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