Korea DPR edges U.S. in U-20 WWC semis

USA's Emily Fox (white jersey) tackles U Sol Gyong of Korea DPR during their FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup semifinal on November 29, 2016, in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea -- The United States was eliminated from the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup on Tuesday, falling in the semifinals 2-1 to Korea DPR after extra time at Sir John Guise Stadium.

The Americans, who were aiming for their fourth competition crown, will face the France-Japan loser in the match for third place on Saturday at the National Football Stadium.

Korea DPR netted the game-winner in the 91st minute, when Sung Hyang Sim glided from left towards the middle along the edge of the 18-yard box, before finding Ri Hyang Sim on the right. The unmarked 20-year-old midfielder took one touch and then gently lifted the ball over goalkeeper Casey Murphy, who went low, from four-yards out.

The North Koreans took a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute via the penalty spot as Jon So Yon converted in the lower right corner after U.S. midfielder Katie Cousins was whistled for a handball while blocking a shot.

U.S. head coach Michelle French brought on three attackers -- Ally Watt, Kelcie Hedge and Jessie Scarpa -- between the 66th and 78th minutes, but it was a defender who would equalize.

With a minute remaining in normal time, Scarpa delivered a ball from the left wing into the penalty area for Mallory Pugh. The senior squad star lost the ball off the first touch, but it bounced back to her. Then, a rushed clearance fell in the left side of the box to Natalie Jacobs, who looped a first-timed effort into net from 10-yards out.

Due to the cooling break and several injuries in the hot conditions, seven minutes of stoppage time was added to the end of the match. The CONCACAF champion was forced to play the last four minutes of stoppage time with 10 players after Watt had to go out injured and the Americans had already made their three allowed substitutes in regulation.

The U.S. defeated Korea DPR, 2-1, in overtime during the quarterfinals at the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan and fell to the Asian side on penalty kicks two years later in Canada.

FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup -- Semifinals
November 29, 2016: Sir John Guise Stadium – Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (Att: 5,037)
Korea DPR-USA 2-1 aet (0-0)
Jon So Yon 51’ pen; Ri Hyang Sim 91’ / Natalie Jacobs 89’

Korea DPR: Kim Myong Sun; U Sol Gyong, Choe Sol Gyong, Jon So Yon, Ri Un Yong, Ri Hyang Sim, Kim Phyong Hwa (An Song Ok 95’), Kim Un Hwa (Sung Hyang Sim 66’), Ju Hyo Sim, Wi Jong Sim (Choe Un Hwa 75’), Kim So Hyang (Ri Kyong Hyang 75’). Head Coach: Hwang Yongbong

USA: Casey Murphy; Natalie Jacobs, Taylor Otto, Kaleigh Riehl, Madeline Elliston, Ellie Jean (Kelcie Hedge 71’), Emily Ogle, Katie Cousins (Jessie Scarpa 78’), Mallory Pugh, Emily Fox (Ally Watt 66’; Courtney Petersen 91’), Ashley Sanchez. Head Coach: Michelle French

R: Katalin Kulcsar (Hungary); AR1: Katalin Torok (Hungary); AR2: Svetlana Bilic (Serbia); 4th: Finau Vulivuli (Fiji)


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