Korea DPR scored a 94th-minute winner to see off Ghana 2-1 in Irbid and set up a FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup semi-final against Venezuela. Substitute Ja Un-Yong was the late, late heroine as the Ghanaians, despite plenty of brave resistance, saw their Jordan 2016 dreams come to an end at the Al Hassan International Stadium.
Ghana were always seen as rank outsiders for this match but they began brightly and came close after just seven minutes when Philicity Asuako was narrowly off target with a drilled 35-yard free-kick. The Black Maidens always had to be wary at the other end, though, and Asuako was soon called into action in a defensive capacity, blocking a goal-bound effort from the lively Kim Pom-Ui.
Korea DPR continued to grow in strength as the half wore on and, 12 minutes before the break, took a deserved lead. The goal came from the penalty spot after Grace Acheampong was adjudged to have fouled Pyon Un-Gong and Kim Po-Ui made no mistake from the spot, sending Kayza Massey the wrong way with a powerful shot into the left-hand corner.
Ghana remained on the back foot and were indebted to Massey for keeping them in the match just before half-time, when the keeper raced quickly from her line to block at the feet of Ri Hae-Yon. The Black Maidens also enjoyed a little luck when the same player threatened early in the second half, with Ri’s close-range volley bouncing down on to the goal-line from the underside of the crossbar.
That good fortune continued to hold out, as did Ghana, until – out of nothing – they drew level with nine minutes remaining. Gifty Acheampong claimed the goal, nipping in to glance a delicate header past Ok Kum-Ju after Asuako had lofted the ball into the Korea DPR box with an acrobatic overhead kick.
But the drama wasn’t finished yet and, with almost the last kick of the game, Korea DPR snatched the win as Ja Un-Yong stabbed into the net from close range as Ghana failed to deal with a low free-kick.