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North Korea Last Hurdle to Quarterfinals


FIFA Women’s World Ranking: 7
Prior Women’s World Cup final appearances: 1 – 1999 (10th)
Overall Record in Women’s World Cup: 2-3-0
Record vs. U.S.: 0-1-0 (0GF, 3GA)

North Korea put together a stunning run through qualifying for Women’s World Cup USA 2003, scoring an amazing 60 goals, while allowing only three. Then to cap off the 2003 Asian Championships, the North Koreans defeated China in the championship game 2-1 in sudden death overtime. It was the third time the North Koreans have defeated China in the championship game of Asian confederation tournaments.

2003 Women’s World Cup Qualification Results:
North Korea 13, Hong Kong 0
North Korea 14, Thailand 0
North Korea 16, Singapore 0
North Korea 2, South Korea 2
North Korea 3, Japan 0
North Korea 2, China 1 (OT)

GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Jong Hui Ri, 18-Kyong Hwa Chon; DEFENDERS (8): 2-In Sil Yun, 3-Hwa Song Kim, 5-Kum Ok Sin, 6-Mi Ae Ra, 12-Ok Gyong Jang, 13-Jong Sun Song, 17-Hye Yong Jon, 20-Un Ju Ri; MIDFIELDERS (5): 9-Sun Hui Ho, 11-Yong Hui Yun, , 14-Kum Ran O, 15-Un Gyong Ri, 19-Hyang Ok Ri; FORWARDS (4): 7-Kum Suk Ri, 8-Kum Chun Pak, 10-Pyol Hui Jin, 16-Kyong Sun Pak.


Korea PRK vs. Nigeria
Women’s World Cup 2003
Sept. 20, 2003

Scoring Summary:
1st 2nd Final
PRK                 1   2     3
NIG                  0   0     0

PRK – Pyol Hui Jin 13th minute
PRK – Un Gyong Ri 73rd
PRK – Pyol Hui Jin 88th

PRK –1-Jong Hui Ri, 2-In Sil Yun, 6-Mi Ae Ra, 7-Kum Suk Ri, 10-Pyol Hui Jin, 11-Yong Hui Yun, 12-Ok Gyong Jang, 14-Kum Ran O, 15-Un Gyong Ri, 17-Hye Yong Jon, 19-Hyang Ok Ri.

Korea PRK vs. Sweden
Women’s World Cup 2003
Sept. 25, 2003

Scoring Summary:
1st 2nd Final
PRK           0   0      0
SWE          1   0      1

SWE – Victoria Svensson 7th minute

PRK –1-Jong Hui Ri, 5-Kum Ok Sin (2-In Sil Yun, 55), 6-Mi Ae Ra (13-Jong Sun Song, 62), 7-Kum Suk Ri, 10-Pyol Hui Jin, 11-Yong Hui Yun (9-Sun Hui Ho, 36), 12-Ok Gyong Jang, 14-Kum Ran O, 15-Un Gyong Ri, 17-Hye Yong Jon, 19-Hyang Ok Ri.

The U.S. Women’s World Cup Team controls its own destiny going into its final match in Group A against North Korea . With a win or a tie, the U.S. will win the group and qualify for the quarterfinals, where it would face Norway, the second place team from Group B, at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass. Norway secured second place in the group with a resounding 7-1 win over South Korea today at Gillette Stadium. If the U.S. were to fall to North Korea, there are a number of different scenarios that could occur.

If the U.S. loses to North Korea by two goals or less and Sweden loses to Nigeria, the U.S. would win Group A and would face Norway in the quarterfinals.

If the U.S. loses to North Korea by at least three goals and Sweden loses to Nigeria, the U.S. would finish in second place in Group A and would face Group B winner Brazil in the quarterfinals.

If the U.S. loses to Korea DPR by at least three goals and Sweden beats Nigeria by at least six goals, the U.S. would finish in third place in Group A and would not qualify for the quarterfinals.

There are also a few situations (if the U.S. were to lose to North Korea and Sweden defeats Nigeria) where the U.S. and Sweden could end up tied with six points and have the same goal differential. In those situations, the next tie-breakers are goals scored and head-to-head (which the U.S. would win with the 3-1 victory over Sweden).

The U.S. Women's National Team is just six goals away from the 1000th score in the program's history. The USA played the 303rd match in its history last Thursday (Sept. 25) in a 5-0 win over Nigeria at Lincoln Financial Field, upping the USA’s all-time goal total to 994. Cindy Parlow scored the 900th goal against Norway on Sept. 8, 2002.

With 99 career caps, defender Kate Sobrero will become the 17th U.S. Women’s player to earn 100 caps for her country should she play against North Korea tomorrow afternoon, joining recent entrants Tiffany Roberts and Christie Pearce. Sobrero, who debuted in 1998, was the starter with the least caps on the 1999 Women’s World Cup championship team, but nevertheless partnered with Carla Overbeck in the center of the U.S. defense with incredible savvy and heart. Sobrero was also a starter on the 2000 Olympic Team.

For the past month, ESPN has been following the U.S. Women's National Team's every move up to and through the Women's World Cup for a special documentary titled, "Road Trip With Team USA." There will be two shows produced during the tournament, with the first, an hour episode airing on Wednesday, Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2. The crew has been shooting almost non-stop in an attempt to give viewers the best behind-the-scenes footage and allow them to get to know some of the best women's soccer players in the world. The documentary will concentrate on the team's trip through the Women's World Cup, using footage of the players in the hotel, on the practice field, and everything else in between, intermixed with interviews about the journey in their quest for another Women's World Cup championship. The second episode is schedule to air on Oct. 11 on ESPN2.


U.S. Head Coach April Heinrichs

On if she’s concerned the team won’t play with as much urgency vs. North Korea…
“I don’t think it’s in our team’s fiber to take the foot off the throttle. I don’t think that’s our mentality. I truly believe what separates the great teams are the teams that continue to find ways to win.”

On if she’ll change the lineup for the North Korea game…
“We won’t change the lineup just to change the lineup. We will look at each game and decide what players put us in the best position to succeed.”

On getting ready for North Korea…
“We have scouted them heavily. We’ve probably seen five of (North Korea’s) games they’ve played of late. As a team we will focus on what we do well. If we feel we need to make adjustments to handle North Korea then we will do that. We’ll just play to win.”

Forward Mia Hamm

On North Korea…
“They have great experience and a lot of weapons. I think they have confidence right now. In qualifying they beat one of the best teams in the world (China) and that has to give you confidence. Any team that goes up against China and comes out victorious is going to definitely be motivated. The match is going to be a big challenge for us.”

On playing with only two days rest…
“With a two-day turnaround we would have liked to have at least one more day, but at the same time North Korea is coming off the same amount of days. It’s going to be a battle out there. One good thing was that we came out of the game (against Nigeria) relatively healthy which was important. Yesterday was about rejuvination and today was about focusing and getting our mind set ready to compete against North Korea.”

Midfielder Julie Foudy

On playing in Columbus…
“We’ve always gotten a tremendous turnout from Columbus fans who have been so supportive when we’ve played here. It’s nice to play in the venue here.”

Goalkeeper Briana Scurry

On North Korea needing a win…
“They are in a little bit different situation than us, where they have to get a win in order to get through (to the next round). That situation can make a team do some interesting things and if you are the team playing against someone who essentially has their back up against the wall, it changes the complex of the game.”

On if it helps going into the game knowing what they need to do to advance…
“We need to win every game. There’s a certain comfort in the fact that you played two games, played them well and got all the points you could out of them. There’s a sense of confidence going around the team, but North Korea is a tough team. We are going to go out there and play how we play regardless of the outcome of Sweden and Nigeria.”