2016 U-20 Women's World Cup Preview: Korea DPR vs Spain

2016 U-20 Women's World Cup Preview: Korea DPR vs Spain

Will experience outweigh the bright Spanish side in this thrilling quarter final clash?

Katie Mishner

The group stages of the U-20 Women's World Cup played host to many thrashings as there was heavily uneven group selections. Now, the competition has been whittled down to the elite it is expected that the amount of goals being netted will decrease and there will be some tough tests.

Several of these thrashings were at the hands of Korea DPR and Spain and now they will have another, in a tougher setting.

The history books

At first glance, Korea DPR look to be the superior team given their experience. They have featured in every U-20 World Cup since winning the title on their first attempt back in 2006. Spain on the other hand only have experienced the tournament in 2004 in Thailand, where they exited at the group stage.

Recent history also adds up in favour of the Asian team as they collected all nine points from their opening games while Spain faltered in their final group match, losing out to Nigeria.

As Spain come in off the back of that narrow defeat, it puts them at a disadvantage because their opponents will turn up to the game still relishing their dominant 7-1 win over PNG. 

To add to the pressure and excitement around the clash, these two teams have never faced each other before. While Spain play a more pressing and aggressive game, Korea DPR opt for brains over brawl. 

Head to head

Currently Korea DPR sit at the top of the statistics table having scored 13 goals in three games, though arguably their group was less tasking than others, the impressive element of that tally is that it has been shared around their attacking trio.

Kim So Hyang leads the way as the top scorer for the side, netting four of the 13, while Ri Hyang Sim and Jon So Yon have two each. The trio also featured in the 2014 edition of the tournament, their experience and understanding is a real threat to any side. Out of their goals, 11 have come from open play so when up against the Spanish their nifty passing an smart tactics could yield goals.

However, Spain only conceded in their last game. The regimented back four, led by Carmen Menayo has prevented keeper Maria Quinones from having to make many saves.

The fact that Spain have qualified 12 years on from their first appearance says a lot about the incoming tlaent through the national team system. 

Going forward they have solid options but DPR are an extremely tactical side, likely to pick out Maria Caldentey and Lucia Cordoba out as the threats and to mark them very closely.

All in all, the game is almost an unpredictable one. The odds are likely to favour, but the Spanish side have surprised almost everyone. First by overcoming powerhouse Japan and then making it out of the group despite a defeat to the other group B favourites, Nigeria. All that can be guaranteed is that the game will be a entertaining meeting of two very different teams.