Gaitàn, Colombia fall to North Korea in opening match of Summer Olympics

July 26, 2012 | News, UToday
By Brian DeBenedictis


UT women’s soccer player Natalia Gaitàn and her home country of Colombia suffered a 2-0 setback to North Korea Wednesday in its first-ever match at the Summer Olympics at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland.

The contest was delayed more than one hour at the outset after the North Korean players noticed that their faces were being displayed on the big screens next to the South Korean flag. They promptly left the pitch and only returned once the problem had been rectified.

North Korea and South Korea exist as neighbors but have a far from harmonious relationship. The countries formally were established as separate entities in 1948, and the Korean War began in 1950.

Once the match finally started, North Korea proved too strong for Gaitàn and Colombia behind two goals from Song Hui Kim.

Kim opened the scoring in the 39th minute when she lifted the ball over Colombia’s Sandra Sepulveda after the goalkeeper had spilled a routine cross. Kim then finished off the scoring in the 85th minute to give North Korea a solid three points in Group G.

The senior tri-captain played the entire match on defense and tallied one of Colombia’s four shots.

Gaitan and Colombia return to the field Saturday, July 28, when they square off against the United States at 5 p.m. (local time) in Hampden Park.

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