INCHEON, South Korea (AFP) – North Korea upset defending champions Japan 3-1 to win Asian Games gold in the women’s football on Wednesday, avenging their loss in the final four years ago.
Kim Myun-Mi, captain Ra Un-Sim and Ho Un-Byol scored as World and Asian Cup holders Japan were totally outplayed by North Korea.
The North’s players squealed with joy, some bursting into tears, at the final whistle as around 60 of their flag-waving comrades in official tracksuits hopped with delight in the stands.
South Korean fans chanted support for their neighbours from north of the border throughout, many waving unification flags showing the Korean peninsula in blue on a white background.
The North’s players sprinted over to the main stand after a celebratory team hug and unfurled their country’s flag as thousands of local fans seated behind huge unification banners with the same design serenaded them with: “We are one!”
North Korea took the lead after 12 minutes when midfielder Kim stabbed home from close range following some dreadful Japanese defending.
They produced a moment of true class to double their lead seven minutes after the interval, Ra latching on to a long diagonal from Jon Myong-Hwa to finish with a clinical right-foot shot.