A group of 14-year-old North Korean girls who attend a football academy in Pyongyang full-time trounced all the other teams in their age class at this year’s Norway Cup. The football tournament is billed as the world’s largest for children and youth.
It was the first time a team from the isolated dictatorship had taken part in Norway Cup, and its members clearly made an impression. “They were secure with the ball and an incredibly professional football team,” Tommy Larsen, coach for their opposing team in Saturday’s final, Lambertseter IL of Oslo, told newspaper VG.
Larsen described the team as highly disciplined. Not a single other team scored against them during Norway Cup’s full week of play, leaving them with a record of 43 goals and none allowed by the teams they faced.
Lambertseter of Oslo was the first team that gave the North Koreans some serious competition, after the teenagers with matching haircuts from Pyongyang had earlier beat every team they met with knock-out scores like 8-0 and 5-0. The final match ended with a score of 2-0 in favour of the North Koreans.
The team’s captain, Hong Song Ok, told VG that she dreams “of being a star in the international football arena.” Meanwhile, she said that now she and her teammates “can now travel back to our parents and to our school and be proud.”
Norway Cup wrapped up over the weekend after nearly 30,000 players on 1,800 teams played on fields all over the Norwegian capital. The finals and closing ceremonies took place at Ekeberg.