Chonburi: It took until the final day of the tournament to determine the best team at the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2017, but the tournament’s Most Valuable Player was clear well before that.
DPR Korea’s brilliant striker Kim Kyong-yong, who also claimed the award for top goal scorer with nine in just five matches, stood out from her first very first appearance – hitting the back of the net five times against Bangladesh.
Kim scored in every match but one, racking up the highest individual scoring tally at the tournament since Australia’s Caitlin Foord eight years ago.
Speaking after the match, the 15-year-old star revealed that taking home the award for the tournament’s best player was something she had actively aimed for.
“Actually my personal goal for the tournament was to take the MVP,” she said, adding “but I never expected to be the top goal scorer.”
Kim – who capped her tournament with a championship-sealing 86th minute header in the final against Korea Republic – praised her teammates’ contribution to her individual accolades.
“This is the individual result from our team of players, who all played very well and assisted me for the whole of the tournament.”
The pacey striker scored as many goals as half the teams in the tournament combined, and her performance against Bangladesh alone would have seen her finish on top of the scoring chart.
Now, with the Asian title safely secured, Kim is setting her sights on the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2018 in Uruguay, where she believes she can help her country to back to back titles.
“We are the champions of this tournament, but I’m not satisfied yet. We need more training and preparation and I think we can win the World Cup.”
Head coach Song Sung-gwon agreed.
“Yes, of course (we can win the World Cup), whatever the title of the competition is, our purpose is to win it, and that will be our objective.”
DPR Korea captain Ri Su-gyong, who said she was “sure” DPR Korea would retain their world title, rated Kim as one of the best players she had played with.
“She’s the best. She is a very good player and I have a lot of respect for her,” said the victorious skipper.
*Photos: AFC *