Preview - MD3 Group B: DPR Korea vs Korea Republic
Chonburi: It will be an all-East Asian affair when DPR Korea face Korea Republic in their final AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 Group E tie at the Chonburi Stadium on Sunday.
The clash of the titans will be a rematch of the 2017 final, which ended with DPR Korea claiming their third Continental title with a goal in each half.
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Looking at the stats alone, DPR Korea enter the tie as favourites after scoring 14 unanswered goals and Hwang Yong-song’s charges will only need to avoid defeat to make their seventh appearance in the knockout stage.
The DPR Korea boss is more than pleased with their title defence so far, and stated that the wins against Vietnam and China PR have boosted his players' confidence for the matches to come.
“Our preparation for this championship began in April, and in the time since then we have worked really hard to build a strong team.
“I’m very satisfied with the results and the progress of the team so far, and the victories in these two matches will bring the players’ spirits even higher for the remaining matches.”
Hwang was oozing confidence after their 4-0 win over China on Thursday, as he spoke with confidence that his players would maintain their fine form and top the group.
“Well, our players don’t believe that we will lose to them (Korea Republic), but there will be some messages given to the players to remain focused on the game and not to make mistakes.”
Korea Republic, meanwhile, fell to two second half goals against China in their group opener, but a 3-0 win over Vietnam on Matchday Two revived their hopes of making the semi-finals.
In Chang-soo’s Korea Republic must secure all three points against DPR Korea to stand a good chance of reaching the last four.
If the match ends in a draw, they must hope the China-Vietnam tie also ends in a draw.
Coach In understands the strength of his opponents and the weight the game carries, but his focus is on keeping his players mentally focused ahead of the match.
"We watched the DPR Korea-China PR match, and DPR Korea are obviously strong but we will try our very best and show our best performance possible,” said In.
“I don’t like putting pressure on the players, so we will try to have our players as confident as possible, that’s what we’re aiming for."
DPR KOREA vs KOREA REPUBLIC
Chonburi Stadium, Chonburi
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