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USA falls to North Korea in final
by Paul Kennedy, November 17th, 2008 7AM



[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] North Korea confirmed its status as the dominant power of women's soccer at the youth level, beating the USA, 2-1, in overtime in the final of the inaugural U-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand. North Korea's championship comes on the heels of its Under-20 Women's World Cup title two years ago in Russia.

The Koreans had a huge advantage in shots (31-16) but trailed most of the game. Their goalie, Hong Myong Hui, gifted the USA a goal in the second minute when she pushed Cloee Colohan's throw-in into her own goal after the ball had bounced over her head. (The goal would not have counted if she had not touched the ball.)

North Korea equalized with 13 minutes remaining in the match when Ri Un Ae's free kick from 30 yards hit the underside of the crossbar and Kim Un Hyang scored on a header.

With seven minutes left in overtime, Jang Hyon Sun scored the winning goal when she beat Colohan and scored from the top of the box.

"We're trying to keep the ball," said U.S. coach Kazbek Tambi, "but at the same time North Korea was a very intense crew and I thought they did a good job of closing us down and keeping the ball in their end. So rather than taking away from us, I'd rather give them credit for a great job in the second half to pull back like we came back against Germany [2-1 comeback win in the semifinals]."

In the third-place match, Germany defeated England, 3-0.

AWARDS. American star Kristie Mewis won the Bronze Ball as the tournament's third best player behind Germany's Dzsenifer Marozsan and Japan's Mana Iwabuchi.

Vicki DiMartino, the first American to score in five consecutive games in a world championship, won the Silver Shoe as the tournament's second leading scorer with five total goals, behind Marozsan, who had six.

Taylor Vancil, who played every minute for the USA in nets, was awarded Golden Glove Award as the best goalkeeper in the tournament.

Nov. 16 in Auckland
North Korea 2 USA 1. Goals: Kim Un Hyang 77, Jang 113; own goal 2.
North Korea -- Hong, Hyon, Jon Hong Yon, Kim Sol Hui, Kim Un Hyang, Kim Uj (Ri Un Ae, 68), Pae (Jang, 104), Kim Hyon Mi, Ho, Jon Myong Hwa, Yun (Kim Un Ju, 53)
USA -- Vancil, Dunn, Colohan, Quon, S.Mewis, Brooks, Roberts, K.Mewis, Klei (Eddy, 61); DiMartino (Johnson, 106), Verloo.
Referee: Silvia Reyes (Peru).
Att.: 16,162.

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