Korea DPR came from behind to secure a 3-1 win over France in the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup final at the National Football Stadium in Port Moresby.
Grace Geyoro put France ahead early on, but Korea DPR equalised on the half-hour mark and then scored at either end of the second period to seal their first title for ten years.
An electric atmosphere was created by the capacity crowd and the players responded in kind with an up-tempo contest.
Indeed, the match proved to be a contest of fine margins at times with several last-gasp tackles and blocks amid action at both ends of the pitch.
An early goal for France perhaps helped ensure the match was an open affair. Maelle Garbino whipped in a dipping free-kick from the touchline and goalkeeper Kim Myong Sun could only fumble the ball into the path of midfielder Geyoro, who swept the opportunity home.
Buoyed by their lead, France charged forward and Clara Mateo was blocked in the nick of time by Kim Myong Sun as she bore down on goal.
Korea DPR, however, levelled on 30 minutes as the impressive Wi Jong Sim flicked the ball home at the near-post, following a fine left-sided run and cross from Kim Phyong Hwa.
Eight minutes after the break Korea DPR had a golden chance to take the lead. Kim So Hyang burst down the right following a sharp exchange of passes and her low cross was met at the far post by Kim Phyong Hwa, but the No11 somehow pushed her close-range effort wide.
The villain, however, turned heroine within a matter of just minutes. Kim Phyong Hwa headed home from an almost identical position after Wi Jong Sim deflected the ball into her path from a free-kick.
Korea DPR looked in the mood, but the match became disjointed amid a flurry of substitutions and stoppages. France could find no answers despite a late surge, with a Jon So Yon penalty in the closing stages securing victory.
It saw Korea DPR crowned champions of a FIFA women’s tournament for the second time within a matter of weeks.
Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Kim Phyong Hwa (Korea DPR)