North Korea beat Japan to win U20 Women’s Asian Cup, Aussies take 3rd spot

March 18 – DPR Korea came from behind to beat Japan 2-1 in the AFC U20 Women’s Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2024 final at the JAR Stadium.

Jon Ryong jong was the North Korean hero, scoring twice as her country marked their return to trophy winning in the international women’s game.

North Korea last won the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship in 2007 and having finished runners-up in the last five editions. Japan have won the title six times.

Japan opened the scoring in the 20th minute when Maya Hijikata on the right set up Ai Tsujisawa to head in from close range.

DPR Korea equalised in the 44th minute when Ryong jong headed home Un yong’s cross from the right flank.

It was level until the 86th minute when Jong Kum broke down the right before sending a deep cross for Ryong jong to head home her second and North Korea’s winner.

Australia beat South Korea to take third place. All four teams have qualified for the U-20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024 to be held in Cali, Medellin and Bogota from August 31 to September 22.

AFC president Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa congratulated the two nations both for their performances in this tournament and their historical contribution to the women’s game: “Both Japan and DPR Korea were appearing in their fourth successive final and their dominance in women’s youth football is indeed commendable, matched only by their resilience to rise above adversity, particularly against the backdrop of the forced hiatus caused by the pandemic.

“We must pay tribute to both the DPR Korea Football Association and Japan Football Association for their steadfast dedication in producing world-class women’s age-group teams with each passing edition over the past two decades.”

The latest final was the eighth occasion that DPR Korea and Japan finished in the top two in 11 editions. Both sides share three world titles in this age-group, with DPR Korea accounting for two.

Salman also thanked first-time hosts the Uzbekistan FA: “Our Vision to confirm football as the Continent’s number one sport and to grow and strengthen the women’s game is anchored in bringing our top-level competitions to as many territories as possible.

“So, we must applaud the Uzbekistan Football Association and the Local Organising Committee for their commendable efforts as the first ever Central Asian hosts and we hope that the exemplary example that they have set will inspire our Member Associations to create more history in this exciting and ever-evolving journey of women’s football in Asia.”

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