South Africa and the ten men of Korea DPR played out an entertaining 1-1 draw which helped neither side in their quest to progress from Group E of the FIFA U-17 World Cup.
Thendo Mukumela’s early penalty came after Ri Kuk Hyon had been dismissed for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, before an equalising spot kick by Kim Wi Song saw the Young Chollima level shortly after. Despite a number of clear-cut chances for both sides, neither team could take advantage and claimed a point apiece, after their respective opening day defeats.
The first presentable opportunity of the match fell to Korea DPR’s star man Han Kwang Song. The No9 was found in the South African penalty area by a lofted Pak Yong Gwan through ball, but the forward could not get enough behind his effort when one-on-one and Mondli Mpoto easily saved.
Korea DPR were made to rue that missed chance moments later when the bright Sibongakonke Mbatha played an incisive through ball to Luvuyo Mkatshana inside the Korea DPR penalty area. Ri Kuk Hyon brought him down and was shown his marching orders before Mukumela slammed the spot kick home.
Despite their numerical disadvantage, Korea DPR recovered quickly, with Han bursting into the African side’s penalty area before he was halted by Katlego Mohamme. Another penalty was coolly dispatched, this time by Kim Wi Song.
Into the second period, the Asian champions looked as though it was they who had the man advantage, streaming forwards at will, with a couple of opportunities, first for Choe Song Hyok and then for that man Han, going begging.
A remarkable late moment had the crowd on its feet as Mpoto came sprinting out of his goal, made a tackle close to the halfway line and sprinted over the halfway line to set up an attack, but it was in vain.
It was to be a share of the spoils for Group E’s opening day’s defeated sides, leaving them on a point each heading into their final matches. The Amajimbos stay in Concepcion for their showdown with Russia, while Korea DPR head to Puerto Montt for their pool finale against Costa Rica.