The US women's squad pulled through on a Heather O'Reilly equalizer that kept coach Greg Ryan's unbeaten streak intact. But the North Koreans served notice to the rest of the teams in the tournament living up to their hype. They also proved to be the perfect opportunists.
They fell behind after a Abby Wambach long range strike deflected off the hands of Jon Myong-hui, the N.Korean goalie into goal.
Wambach minutes later left the field for medical treatment as she collided with another player to clear a ball. The US were reduced to ten players and in those 10 minutes that she was off the field, the N.Koreans went into the lead.
Kil Son-hui benefited from a goalkeeping error, as Hope Solo let a long shot slip through her hands in the wet conditions in the 58th minute. In the 62nd, Kim Yong-ae pounced on a rebound and shot it past Solo.
The N.Koreans dominated the stats, enjoying more possession and more shots on goal, forcing Solo into 8 saves. They also looked more poised and were very quick to counterattack unsettling the US with their speed. The US looked overwhelmed at times with the pressure and the midfield did not provide the forwards with the service that they required. Graham Hays has more >>
The Group B standings are wide open as Sweden drew with Nigeria, 1-1. All the teams are level with a point each. At this rate, goal differential maybe the deciding factor in this Group B, which is the toughest in this World Cup.