North Korea 2
United States 1
North Korea fought back from a nightmare start to secure a 2-1 extra-time win over the United States in the women's under-17 soccer World Cup final in Auckland today.
A bizarre own goal from luckless Korean goalkeeper Hong Myong Hui opened the United States account after barely two minutes.
Defender Cloee Colohan's mammoth throw-in cleared all the players in the box before bouncing over Hong, whose despairing fingers scraped the ball as it dropped into the net.
Had she not touched the ball, the goal would have been disallowed as a goal cannot be scored directly from a throw-in.
North Korea battled back and although play was scrappy for much of the first half they looked the stronger team through the midfield.
For North Korea, captain Pae Yon Hui proved a handful for the American defence, testing goalkeeper Taylor Vancil constantly and forcing her into several good saves.
The Americans withstood the pressure and came out firing after halftime, with Vicki DiMartino pressuring in a bid to continue her effort of scoring in every game of the tournament so far.
However, North Korea fought back to score in the 77th minute, despite having only 47 per cent of the possession compared to the Americans' 53 per cent.
After a thundering free kick rattled the crossbar, Kim Un Ju hooked the ball back across the goalmouth for defender Kim Un Hyang, whose well-placed header looped over Vancil to level the scores.
Despite some frantic end-to-end play, neither team could score again in regulation time and the match went to extra time.
With just seven minutes remaining, and nine minutes after she had been subbed on, Jang Hyon Sun provided a classy North Korean finish when the American defence was caught napping, leaving Vancil sprawling with a well-placed strike to secure the game.
In the playoff for third, Germany were comfortable 3-0 victors over England.
The match got off to a bright start with Inka Wesely ghosting in unmarked to head home a Dzsenifer Marozsan corner after just 11 minutes.
Germany were firmly in control at that stage and would have doubled their lead six minutes from the break but for an excellent save from Lauren Davey to deny Marozsan at point-blank range.
England's best chance came in the shape of a late, long-range Jordan Nobbs effort that crashed back off the bar, but generally it was one-way traffic, with European champions Germany doubling their lead after 74 minutes.
Again, England failed to contain Wesely at a corner, and the big defender was able to knock down for Turid Knaak to sweep the ball into the net from close range.
There was enough time for Germany to increase their advantage in the dying minutes, Lynn Mester scoring at the second attempt following some terrific approach play from Carolin Simon.