Korea, Japan post big opening wins

Singapore, September 3 :

East Asian powers Korea Republic and Japan had little difficulty in brushing aside Singapore and Nepal respectively for a winning start to their Group A campaign in the AFC U-17 Championship here at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday. Korea Republic defeated hosts Singapore 3-1 while Japan crushed Nepal 6-0.

Korea Republic, who will host the FIFA U-17 World Cup next year, took the lead in the first match on 34 minutes through Choi Jin-soo but Singapore levelled the proceedings through Quak Jun Yi in the 56th minute.

With the score tied 1-1 and 25 minutes remaining, Korea Republic managed to restore their one-goal lead through lively midfielder Kim Jung Hyun on 65 minutes before substitute Gu Ja Myeong made it 3-1 two minutes from time.

As far as 1994 champions Japan were concerned, there was intense competition to clamber onto the scoresheet with an own goal by Nepal’s Bikash Singh Chhetri opening the proceedings in the eighth minute. Four minutes later, Tomokato Okamoto made it 2-0 before Jin Hanoto grabbed a brace in the 68th and 78th minutes and Kota Mizunuma capped the landslide win with a double in the 80th and 90th minutes. Nepal’s misery was compounded when they were forced to play with ten men for the last five minutes after the dismissal of midfielder Ranjit Shrestha.

Korea Republic take on Nepal next while Japan clash with Singapore on September 5.