South Korean women arrive in North Korea for qualifier

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PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) The South Korean women’s football team arrived in Pyongyang on Monday for an official game in the North Korean capital later this week.

The two Koreas will face off against each other on Friday in a qualifying match for the Asian Football Confederation Cup in the 50,000-seat Kim Il Sung Stadium. Pyongyang is hosting the qualifying games for group B – which also includes India, Hong Kong and Uzbekistan – through April 11.

The North and South Korean men’s squads have played each other before in North Korea, but not in an official game since 1990.

According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency, 51 South Koreans, including media, will stay in Pyongyang for the event. It said the South Korean women would begin training on Tuesday.

The winner of the group moves on to the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan, which is also the regional qualifier for the Women’s World Cup in 2019, in France.

As of March 12, the South Korean women were ranked second and the North 32nd in the AFC.

North Korea, along with having a major home advantage, is the favorite to win the Korean showdown. They are ranked 10th by FIFA and the South 17th.