Japan defeats North Korea to win gold.
The Japanese women’s national team won the final match of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games 4-1 against the North Korean women’s national team at the Huanglong Sports Center Stadium in Hangzhou, China, on Saturday at 9 p.m. ET.
In the early stages of the match, North Korea pushed Japan hard. The North Koreans harassed Japan with their quick movement and maneuverability in the forward areas. However, it was Japan who scored the first goal. In the 10th minute, Nakashima found space in the back of the North Korean defense and calmly slotted home a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Despite the goal, North Korea remained in control of the game. On the left flank, Wee Jong Shim created a scoring chance with an aggressive run and cross, but it didn’t lead to a decisive shot.
North Korea missed another chance. In the 25th minute, Wee Jong-sim broke away from the Japanese defense and had a solo opportunity to shoot with his left foot, but the Japanese defender flew out to block it.
Eventually, North Korea scored the equalizer. In the 38th minute, Wee Jong-sim broke through on the left flank and sent in a cross. The ball found Kim Yong-yong inside the penalty box, who scored the equalizer with a left-footed shot.
North Korea had a crucial chance early in the second half. A difficult cross came in from inside the penalty box and Park Shin-jung was able to get in on goal but couldn’t get her foot on it. In the ninth minute of the second half, the North Koreans tried to break through with a quick sprint after the ball was crossed into the Japanese zone, but there was no shot on goal.
As North Korea continued to attack furiously, it was Japan who had the final say on the goal. Japan rattled the net in the 20th minute when Osawa connected with a powerful header off a corner kick.
Japan added another goal three minutes later. Tanikawa beat one defender before firing a left-footed shot from just outside the penalty box. North Korean goalkeeper 바카라 Kim Eun-hee couldn’t quite assess the height of Tanikawa’s shot, and the ball found its way into the back of the net to give Japan a 3-1 lead.
The Japanese goals kept coming. In the 26th minute of the second half, Japan played a ball from the back into the DPRK area, and Chiba was able to penetrate the backline and collect the ball. With no angle, Chiba took a bold left-footed shot and scored. North Korea continued to push forward, but Japan’s defense held firm, and Japan won the gold medal for the second consecutive year, following the 2018 Jakarta Palembang.