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Showdown between China and DPRK Ends Scoreless
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The women's soccer game between China and DPRK, deemed as a showdown in advance, finished with a disappointing scoreless tie in the second round of the Asiad women's soccer competitions here on Friday.

Neither China nor DPRK had many effective attacks in the first half after Ri Hyang-ok created DPRK's best chance in the fourth minute. Yet, her shot only hit the bar.

Chinese goalkeeper Xiao Zhen would be awarded the honor of the best player in the second half after several serious threats were cleared up by her great saves.

"I have to say we were lucky to draw the game. It might be a loss but we held it scoreless as our players fought hard and bravely," said Chinese head coach Ma Liangxing.

"We learned that the DPRK players are virtually stronger than us, in every way. It's not easy to bridge the distance. But we hope to beat them in the World Cup next year," added Ma.

China, runners-up of the 1999 World Cup, had lost all last four games against DPRK.

DPRK coach Ri Song-gun told Xinhua that he was not in the mood for any words because they lost the game they supposed to win, before the journalist was pushed away by South Korean police.

Sun Wen, who won the women's Player of the Year in 2000, was seriously injured when she was brought down by Jang Ok-gyong.

"They are stronger than us, I have to admit. They are more experienced and intrepid than our young players,"said Sun, who was believed to be absent from the next match.

In other games of Friday, host South Korea took their second win by beating Chinese Hong Kong 2-1.

Hong Kyung-suk opened scoring in the 25th minute and Jung Jung-sook doubled their advantage on 48 minutes. Two minutes later, Chinese Hong Kong reduced the arrears with a goal from Chen Shuchiung.

Japan scored their first victory in the second round by beating Vietnam 3-0.

Otani Mio opened the account for Japan in the 23rd minute from a cross off Kawakami Naoko, and Sawa Homare added one after she netted Maruyama Karina's assist in the 43rd minute. Sawa Homare sealed the victory just before the time.

(People's Daily October 5, 2002)

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