Montevideo: Korea Republic's 2018 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup campaign got off to a forgettable start, as they suffered a comprehensive 4-0 loss at the hands of Spain at Estadio Charrúa on Wednesday.
Appearing in the competition for the first time since 2010, Hur Jung-jae's side were well beaten by a Spanish side whose commanding display, featuring three second-half goals, was among the most impressive seen in Uruguay thus far.
FC Barcelona's Claudia Pina provided two goals, while Eva Navarro and Paola Hernandez scored one apiece for Spain, whose dominance was clear in nearly every statistical category.
Gwak Ro-yeong struck the woodwork early, but it took current European U-17 champions Spain just 17 minutes to take the lead, when Navarro's off the ball run down the left hand side went unnoticed by the Korean defence, leaving the Spanish captain with the simple task of beating Kang Ji-yeon from 10 yards.
With Spain dominating possession, Korea Republic's afternoon went from bad to worse in the 51st minute when they rejected several opportunities to clear the ball from penalty area, ultimately resulting in the awful defensive mix-up which served up a tap-in for the predatory Pina.
If the opening two goals had been the result of poor defensive organisation, the third was one of pure quality, as Paola Hernandez rattled home a terrific low effort with her right foot from just inside the penalty area in the 59th minute, and Player of the Match Pina scored an even better effort six minutes later.
The 17-year-old linked up with a marauding Navarro before equalling her tally from the 2016 edition of the tournament in Jordan with a thunderous effort on the turn from 16 yards to add an exclamation mark to a stunning Spanish performance.
Korea Republic have just three days to recover before Saturday's Matchday Two clash with Canada, while Spain will look to continue their winning ways against Colombia.
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