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England 1 (Harris 68) South Korea 1 (Sodam Lee pen 15)
An opportunist second half goal from Martha Harris earned England a draw in their opening match in the FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup.
Mo Marley's team had trailed to a soft first half penalty and were struggling to find a breakthrough before the equaliser came, but had chances to score again late on and are likely to feel they should have taken all three points in Moncton.
England started the game well and passed the ball around confidently but without really troubling to South Korean goal during the opening stages. Sherry McCue was just off target with a long range shot but despite the promising start, they found themselves a goal behind in controversial circumstances.
Yuri Choe got the wrong side of Leah Williamson and broke into the area before whipping in a cross. Aoife Mannion was covering in the centre and the ball bounced off her leg and onto her upper arm but the referee - who had a poor match - deemed this to be deliberate handball and awarded a penalty. Sudan Lee stepped up confidently and although Lizzie Durack got a hand to her kick, she could not prevent the ball from finding the corner of the net and South Korea were in front.
England almost levelled matters a minute later though, Harris breaking down the right and crossing but Katie Zelem's looping header came back off the bar.
However it should have been 2-0 when Yuri Choe again broke into the area and squared the ball across the face of goal but Grummin Lee miscued her shot at the far post with the goal at her mercy. Hyeyeong Kim hit the side netting with a header from a corner and then Selgi Jang was put through on goal before Harris came to her side's rescue with a superb saving tackle as England eventually rode out the storm.
Much of England's best moments were coming from Nikita Parris and the striker made a typically dangerous run towards goal before her shot was saved by Yukyeong Min.
The second half started slowly with South Korea safely protecting their lead and England finding it difficult to break down a well organised defence. Parris and Beth Mead had been on the receiving end of a number of robust and strong challenges but were getting little protection.
The game appeared to be drifting until the midway point, when England got back on level terms. Following a foul on Williamson, Zelem floated a free kick into the area where Min made a hash of things and parried the ball back out for Harris to steal in on the rebound and fire the ball into the roof of the net.
Yuri Choe got the ball in the net at the other end but an offside flag had already been raised and it was England who got stronger and stronger as the match wore on. Mead was unlucky not to put her side ahead as she did well to win the ball in the area and curled her shot goalwards but inches wide of the far post.
Mead then had a glorious opportunity as she latched onto a poor back pass from Hyein Ahn and ran through on goal but the striker appeared to be caught in two minds and Min came out to smother her shot.
Parris unleashed a shot from 30 yards which struck the bar as the game went into injury time and then, with the South Korea defence all over the place, Mead made a weaving run into the area and cut the ball back but England could not force the ball home and had to be satisfied with a point.
England: Lizzie Durack, Martha Harris, Hannah Blundell, Sherry McCue, Aoife Mannion, Leah Williamson, Nikita Parris, Jess Sigsworth (sub Abbey-Leigh Stringer 82mins), Beth Mead, Katie Zelem, Melissa Lawley. Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Paige Williams, Megan Walsh, Jade Bailey, Ellie Stewart, Gabrielle George, Natasha Flint, Jess Carter, Caitlin Leach.
South Korea: Yukyeong Min, Hyein Ahn, Soyi Kim, Yeeun Park, Subin Lee, Eunhye Ha, Selgi Jang, Sodam Lee, Yuri Choe (sub Hansol Jeon 68mins), Geummin Lee, Hyeyeong Kim. Subs not used: Duri Kim, Uri Kim, Hyeji Hong, Inji Kim, Nara Lee, Yeonhee Oh, Gaeun Yoo, Yeji Namgung, Eunah Oh.
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