Debutants Niger off to winning start, beat North Korea 1-0

Debutants Niger off to winning start, beat North Korea 1-0”

A confident Niger came into the second half looking to make history by registering its first goal at the championship and succeeded in doing so in the 59th minute.

Niger's Djibrilla Ibrahim was shown a yellow card for a foul.

However, a lot more happened before the interaction session ended, as DPR Korea U17s' coach and captain opened up on the team's chances ahead of their Federation Internationale de Football Association U17 World Cup opener.

Following a suspect opening ten minutes of the match for the Korean defence, skipper Yun Min took matters into his own hands as he cut in from the left flank and attempted a long shot from outside the box which flew wide of the post.

It was Korea DPR, however, that had the better of the first-half exchanges at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium.

Niger suffered a setback when its captain, Rachid Alfari, suffered an injury and had to be stretchered off in the 30th minute. A few minutes later, Korea's Kung Jin Song also suffered the same fate, as he had to be replaced by Ri Kang Guk. He forced a good save from Sin before narrowly missing the target moments later. The game remained goalless at the break. Both teams had equal chances on scoring goals but both determined not to let either of them score.

DPR Korea had seven friendlies before coming to India, and all the seven matches were against local clubs in North Korea and against of higher age category players.

Song Sin had to produce a sharp save to deny Niger a two-goal advantage in the 78th minute, leaving his side with a slim chance of a comeback.

For a World Cup debutant, Niger looked unbelievably composed and unperturbed on the pitch. "The team has been preparing for this world cup ever since we qualified and this is the best time for us to participate in a tournament like this as we are trying hard to be known as a footballing nation before the rest of the world". Korea were subdued in attack and unconvincing in defence for most of the game.

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