North Korea defeated South Korea 3-1 in extra time in the semifinals of women's football at the Asian Games here Saturday, continuing its dominance over its neighbor on the divided peninsula.
North Korean forward Ra Un-sim scored twice in extra time after South Korea forced a 1-1 tie late in the second half.
With the score tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes, Ra headed in Kim Kyong-hwa's cross just four minutes into extra time. Then with about three minutes remaining, Ra scored on a left-foot floater just inside the box to seal the win.
North Korea took a 1-0 lead late in the first half on a goal by captain Jo Yun-mi, but South Korea forced the extra periods with a tying goal by Yoo Young-a just two minutes before the end of regular time.
North Korea will take on Japan in the gold medal match at 7 p.m. on Monday, local time. South Korea will play in the bronze medal match versus China at 3:30 p.m. on the same day.
North Korea now has beaten South Korea nine times in 11 contests while drawing one other game. The only South Korean win over the North came five years ago at the East Asian Championships.
North Korea's Jo scored moments before the first-half whistle. She dribbled in from the right wing toward the center of the arc and launched a left-foot strike into the net, just out of reach of the diving goalkeeper, Jun Min-kyung.
The North Koreans put the South Korean defense on its heels from the start. Forward Kim Yong-ae, one of three holdovers from the North's gold medal-winning team at the 2006 Asian Games, wreaked havoc through South Korea's defense. Midfielders Ri Un-gyong and Ri Ye-gyong threaded passes through holes, setting up forwards with breakaway chances.
South Korean defenders often lost physical battles for possession, and speedy North Korean forwards frequently beat South Koreans to loose balls.
North Korean midfielder Kim Chung-sim hit the crossbar and then the right goal post in a 40th-minute scramble near the South Korean net, after receiving a nifty cross from Ri Un-gyong.
Kim Yong-ae and Ri Un-gyong were both taken out of the game early in the second half, as North Korean coach Kim Kwang-min apparently tried to conserve their energy for the final. But the move backfired as North Korea failed to score an insurance goal late in regular time and needed the extra time to win.
After a lethargic first half, South Korea finally had some life over the final 20 minutes before Yoo's tying goal.
North Korean women won gold at the two previous Asian Games. Since women's football joined the Asian Games in 1990, China and North Korea have split five gold medals, while South Korea has never won a medal.
By Yoo Jee-ho
Photos:AP Photo/Ng Han Guan