China beat North Korea 34-31 in the final match of the Group A women’s handball preliminaries in the 2018 Asian Games at the POPKI Sports Stadium in Cibubur, East Jakarta, on Thursday.

Joem Uwe Lommel, the German coach of China’s handball team, expressed his satisfaction with the achievement. “The North Koreans were strong. So we had to struggle hard to win the match,” he said.

He praised his team’s performance in following his instructions from the beginning, especially Xiaomei Liu, who scored 13 goals.

As for China’s target, he said he wanted to win every match. “Our target is to get to the final. Our further strategy is pending this afternoon’s result,” he added. With the win over North Korea, China has provisionally earned four points from four matches.

In the first half North Korea lagged 14-17 but by the 15th minute they were competing intensely and within a few minutes the score was level.

Yet China kept striving to get more than the draw and when the whistle blew it was 34-31 in favor of China, leaving some North Korean players tearful at the result