North Korea’s women’s soccer team failed to win Asian Games gold.
North Korea lost 1-4 to Japan in the women’s football final at the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games on Saturday afternoon at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in China. North Korea played well after conceding the opening goal, but conceded three late goals to fall short.
North Korea won the 2002 edition in Busan, 2006 in Doha and 2014 in Incheon. They cruised to the final in hopes of returning to the top spot after a nine-year absence. In the group stage, they played two games against Singapore in an exhibition match without Cambodia, winning comfortably.
In the quarterfinals, they won a controversial call in the North-South clash, and then showed off their game plan in the final against Uzbekistan, scoring eight goals in the process. They beat Japan to win the gold medal and take sole possession of first place in the women’s Asian Games history books.
Japan was trying to win its second straight title. The team was criticized for being weakened by the fact that it used college players in its domestic league rather than the players who had made the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but it showed its strength by scoring four goals in the semifinals against host China.
The final was also tight. North Korea spent a lot of time on offense, but Japan was ahead in decisiveness. In the 10th minute of the first half, Japan took the lead when Yuzuki Yamamoto’s long pass was connected to Yoshino Nagashima’s unstoppable shot.
North Korea was also dealt an injury blow. In the 15th minute, key striker Ahn Myong Song injured his knee and had to be substituted early. Ahn Myong-song’s replacement was energized, and the North Koreans began to attack more.
They finally equalized. In the 37th minute, Kim Kyong-yong slid in a cross from deep on the left side of the box. It was Kim’s 11th goal of the tournament, showing off his considerable finishing ability.
However, North Korea conceded three goals in the first six minutes of the second half. The North Koreans came out firing in the second half, but were shaken when they conceded a 토토사이트 corner kick in the 26th minute. They panicked and conceded another goal to Momoko Tanigawa three minutes later, followed by another to Remina Chiba three minutes later.
The game was decided in a six-minute span when North Korea failed to regroup. With the score at 1-4, North Korea made several changes, including a goalkeeper, but were unable to overcome the three-goal deficit.
In the end, Japan held off North Korea to win their second straight title, following the Jakarta-Palembang tournament. They have now won three of the last four tournaments, tying them with China and North Korea for the most Asian Games women’s soccer titles.