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North Korea Beats Nigeria 3-0

September 20, 2003

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ North Korea overcame poor shooting to beat Nigeria 3-0 Saturday in the opening doubleheader of the World Cup.

The North Koreans moved to the top of Group A, pending Sunday’s game between the United States and Sweden.

Jin Pyol Hui scored in the 13th minute and set up a goal by Ri Un Gyong in the 74th for North Korea before completing the scoring with two minutes remaining.

Often, North Korea’s quick-passing game provided dozens of openings, but the players couldn’t finish. Even when free from close range, the North Koreans _ ranked seventh in the world _ often failed to find the net.

Only Jin’s right-footed shot after a poor tackling attempt by Nigeria went in during the first half.

Nigeria, vastly outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, began the second half well and twice nearly tied the score. But, like their opponent, the Nigerians’ shots were inaccurate.

Huge gaps in the Nigerian defense _ always a problem for the Africans _ reappeared midway in the second half. At one point, Jin had a breakaway, but goalkeeper Precious Dede slid out to foil her.

Jin stole the ball from Kikelomo Ajayi and passed to Ri, who was left along, for the second score. Ho Sun Hui’s steal led to Jin’s second goal on a rebound.

In the first half, the North Koreans had nine shots to Nigeria’s four, and many of those attempts came from close range. The North Koreans’ speed also forced the Africans to foul, and Nigeria committed 18 in the first 45 minutes alone.

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