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Lee: Korea Republic's hard work pays off

Chonburi: Lee Jeong-min believes Korea Republic’s hard work has paid handsome dividends after her solitary goal against Myanmar on Sunday took the two-time title winners into the semi-finals of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019.

Hur Jung-jae’s charges needed a win against Myanmar at the IPE Chonburi Stadium, but their progress through to the competition’s knockout stage was also reliant on Japan beating China PR in Group B’s other match.

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With the game against Myanmar deadlocked at 0-0 going into half-time – and Japan holding a slim 1-0 lead over China – Korea Republic were eager to score after the break and Lee revealed that her team worked hard to break the deadlock in the second period.

"To advance into the semi-finals, we needed a win and Japan to beat China PR. I'm satisfied with how things played out especially with Japan defeating China," she said.

Group B: Korea Republic vs Myanmar

"It was very difficult, we just had to score against Myanmar, and it didn't happen in the first half. But the team worked hard after the interval and I scored. I'm just happy we claimed the three points."

"When I dribbled into the box, my plan was to just shoot, but when I saw the goalkeeper off her line a little bit I tried to squeeze the shot in [at the near post] and it worked in our favour."

Korea Republic have never featured at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and, according to Lee, the prospect of qualifying to appear on the world’s biggest stage has given the East Asians added incentive to succeed in Chonburi.

"It will be a dream to play at the biggest stage which is the World Cup. I really want to play at that level with my team."

"If we work hard and try our best in our next game (against DPR Korea), the results will come."

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