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Date: 7/11/2014

For the first time since 1991 and for the fourth time in total, Korea have reached the final of a Women’s Junior World Championship. On Friday (11 July) the Asian champions, who never won a gold medal in this age category by now, beat Germany in their semi by 28:24 to face record Junior World Champions Russia in the final in Koprivnica on Sunday (16:30 hrs. local time). The brave fighting Germans compete with Denmark for the bronze medal before (14:00 hrs. local time).

Match winners for the Asians were top scorer Hyojin Lee and goalkeeper Halim Woo, on the other hand the Germans were close to turn the match around in the final stages.


Korea - Germany 28:24 (15:11)

It was time for the “Gangnam style” again: Like after their previous victories the Koreans danced on the field, jumping for joy after a thrilling but well-deserved win. The first ten minutes had been something like a private duel of Hyojin Lee (Korea) and Xenia Smits (Germany). When the score was 7:7, Lee had already scored five times (an overall of 11 goals), while Smits had netted in four of her in total eight goals.

Though the Germans had trained all Thursday to stand the extremely offensive and movable Korean defence, they had enormous problems. And then they were through their efficiency was not high enough to be closer to the Asian champions, who played a breath-taking style of handball. When Germany had marked Lee a little bit better, Sojeong Yu appeared on the stage, scoring five of her xxx goals in the first 30 minutes.

And even as German coach Thorsten Schmid took his tactical joker to replace the goalkeeper by a seventh field player in attack, his team could not manage to stop the Asian express. At 12:8 in minute the margin was four goals for the first time - and Korea kept this advance until the break also as they won the goalkeeper duel thanks to Halim Woo.

In the first minutes of the second half both teams were highly inefficient in attack, acting much too hectic - and additionally German goalkeeper Dinah Eckerle improved to stop some Korean attacks. And despite extending the gap to 18:13 the Asians did not get calmer and more patient, in contrast: Germany stroke back by three consecutive goals to cause a time-out of Korean coach Kyechung Lee in minute 41. And mainly Hyojin Lee had understood the message of her coach, scoring twice for 21:16. Again Schmid reacted by the high risk tactic of adding another field player.

But nothing changed, as the Koreans even scored having two players less on the field. But in the final stages the frequently running Asians had to pay the toll for their high speed handball and were running out of power. After an intermediate 18:23 deficit the powerful Europeans grabbed their chances. Four minutes before the end they had reduced the gap to only 22:24. Even a Korean time-out had fizzled out. Korea were on their last leg, but latest when Jinsil Kim had scored for the 26:22 80 seconds before the end, the deal was sealed.