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We can win the World Cup, says North Korea women´s football coach

12 September 2007 08:20

CHENGDU, China (AFP) - North Korea has only one target in China -- to win the women's World Cup for the first time.

And coach Kim Kwang Min warns they are starting to fire on all cylinders after a hard-earned 2-2 draw with the United States, the top team in the world.

The US were lucky to salvage a point on Tuesday after the Koreans scored two quick goals when the Americans were briefly down to 10 players.

Kim said his young charges were on the right road in their quest to clinch the World Cup.

"We are marching toward our target to win the world title," Kim said.

"I am slightly disappointed with the result but if we meet the US team next time, I think I have found the right tactics to beat them."

With both teams taking a point from the draw in what is considered the toughest group of the tournament, they must now win their matches on Friday to stay in the hunt for a spot in the last eight.

The US take on 2003 runners-up Sweden while North Korea, ranked five in the world, face African champions Nigeria.

Kim said he was unfazed that his players only scored when the US were reduced to 10 players after forward Abby Wambach left the ground for stitches to the head, the result of an aerial collision.

"The player that was injured and off the pitch was a forward and we scored against the defence so I don't believe there is any direct relation to our goals," he said.

"I am satisfied with the performance of my team considering the fact that we have still not reached the level that the US team has, we have this draw with the US team so I am satisfied with the result."

US coach Greg Ryan paid tribute to North Korea's performance, and said the result proved the road to the finals would be tough for the world number ones as they attempt to win a third World Cup.

"North Korea is a fantastic team, they played great attacking football and they defended very well," Ryan said.

"I think there were chances for the US to win and also for North Korea to win. We knew what a difficult group this would be and it's proving to be a very difficult group."

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