Late winner sinks Westfield U17 Women

Despite a best on ground performance by Australian goalkeeper Eliza Campbell, the Westfield National U17 Women’s team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to DPR Korea, with the winning headed goal arriving in the 90th minute of play, courtesy of forward, Ri Kyong Hyang.

Despite a best on ground performance by Australian goalkeeper Eliza Campbell, the Westfield National U17 Women-s team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to DPR Korea, with the winning headed goal arriving in the 90th minute of play, courtesy of forward, Ri Kyong Hyang.

The loss now sees Australia sitting second to bottom in the group, with only two games remaining, and a spot at next year-s FIFA U-17 Women-s World Cup slowly slipping away.

The game saw Australia-s best team performance at the AFC U16 Womens Championships, continually absorbing the pressure from DPR Korea and fighting all the way to the end. It was evident the Korean-s began to become uneasy as they struggled to punish Australia, with coach Hwang Yong Bong showing the strain of his team-s inability to finish several goal scoring opportunities.

Throughout the game, Campbell made a number of world class saves to continually deny the Koreas from taking the lead, however, was unable to stop Ri Kyong Hyang-s header which sailed into the roof of the net from close range in the dying seconds of the match.

DPR Korea were almost off to a flying start when Kim Phyong Hwa-s 18 yard rocket hit Campbell-s upright in the 4th minute, with the Australian goalkeeper at full reach, yet well beaten. For the greater part of the first half, a well structured, drilled and technically skilled DPR Korea controlled the majority of possession, although were unable to breakdown a solid Australian defence, once again lead by Elizabeth Ralston and Grace Henry, who earlier in the day sat for a Year 12 exam.

During the 10th minute, DPR Korea were awarded a free kick on the edge of the 18 yard box, however, Kim Hyang Mi-s shot lacked power and was easily saved by the unchallenged Campbell.

Almost each DPR Korea attack resulted in a bullet-like cross, but the Australia-s never say die attitude always came out on top with many strong headers won in their own defensive 18 yard box, despite the height and strength advantage of the Koreans.

Thirty-five minutes into the first half, Ri Un Sim beat the offside trap and was almost on the scorers sheet after a clever run and cross by Ri Hyang Sim, however, her attempt missed by millimeters.

At the start of the second half, Ebony Philcox, who suffered slight concussion after an elbow to the head and Sarah Carroll, made way for Jessica Dillion and Emma Checker.

With the half time break not affecting the Koreans momentum, Kim Un Hwa-s 48th minute shot only narrowly missed the target. Four minutes later, Campbell was called into action again when Choe Chung Bok played a superb through ball to Ri Un Sim, who was one on one with the Australia goalkeeper, only to see her attempt sensationally saved by the big intimidating, fearless frame of Campbell.

Campbell was Australia-s savior again in the 69th minute, when DPR Korea were able to play a long through ball between the Australia defence, finding substitute Jo Ryon Hwa, who-s smooth first touch placed her in a perfect one v one position with Campbell.

The Westfield National U17 Women-s- goalkeeper quickly closed the angle, holding her ground and produced a reflex save to palm away Hwa-s early shot at goal. In the 78th minute, another perfectly timed and weighted through ball once again found Hwa on route to goal, but the Korean forward was denied by a fast approaching Campbell.

With four minutes remaining, Koreas Hwa couldn-t believe her luck when for the third time, Campbell produced one of the saves of the match, keeping Australia in the game and almost registering their first point of the championships.

With the match drawing to a close, and the scores locked at 0-0, there was time for one final attack by DPR Korea. Patiently building up possession down Australia-s right hand side, a sweetly timed crossed was met by the rising Ri Kyong Hyang, heading home the match winner with only seconds remaining on the clock. With no time to spare, the Australia-s were unable to search for an equalizing goal, and the score remained 1-0 to DPR Korea.

In the other group matches played today, Japan continued in their winning ways, beating hosts China P.R comfortably 3-0, while Korea Republic bounced back from their lost to rivals DPR Korea, but ending Thailands World Cup hopes with a 3-0 victory.

Australia-s remaining two games are against Thailand on the 10th and Japan on the 13th November.

Match Details

Westfield National U17 Womens 0 DPR Korea 1 (Ri Kyong Hyang 90-) Jiangning Sport Centre, Nanjing, China Monday 07 November 2011 Referee: Nami SATO (JAPAN) Assistant Referees: Chiba EMI (JAPAN) & Cui YONGMEI (China P.R) Fourth Official: Wang JIA (China P.R) Crowd: 300

Westfield National U17 Women-s line Up: 21. Eliza CAMPBELL (GK), 3. Elizabeth RALSTON, 5. Isobel COOTES, 6. Natalie TOBIN, 10. Alisha BASS (c), 11.Meg MCLAUGHLIN, 12. Sarah CARROLL (2. Emma CHECKER 46-), 13. Grace HENRY, 14. Julia SARDO, 17. Ebony PHILCOX (16. Jessica DILLION 46-), 23. Allison CLARKE (20. Breanna SAMPSON 81-)

Substitutes not used: 1. Penelope EDMONDS (GK), 18. Shamiran KHAMIS (GK), 4. Alexandra NATOLI, 7. Amy HARRISON, 8. Olivia PRICE, 9. Adriana JONES, 15. Lucy METCALFE, 19. Joanna MARTINO, 27. Lauren BROWN

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil

DPR Korea line up: 1. Rim Yong HWA, 3. U Sol GYONG, 5. Choe Sol GYONG, 6. Kim Mi HYANG, 9. Ri Hyang SIM, 10. Ri Un SIM (19. Jo Ryon HWA 65-), 11. Kim Phyong HWA (16. Ri Un YONG 83-), 12. Jon So YON, 15. Choe Chung BOK (8. Chose Hyang MI 76-), 17. Kim Un HWA, 23. Ri Kyong HYANG

Substitutes not used: 18. Jang Yong SIM (GK), 21. Pak Sun GYONG, 2. Kim Hyang RAN, 4. Pak Yong A, 7. Kim So HYANG, 13. Jong Un HA, 14. Kim Un I, 18. Jang Yong SIM, , 20. Wi Yong RAN, 22. Ri Kum SUK

Yellow Cards: Nil

Red Cards: Nil