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US-born Casey Phair becomes youngest player in World Cup history

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By Tara Subramaniam, CNN

(CNN) — South Korea forward Casey Phair on Tuesday became the youngest ever player to appear at the World Cup – just 26 days after celebrating her 16th birthday.

The US-born teenager came on as a 78th minute substitute in South Korea’s 2-0 loss to Colombia in Sydney, beating the record of Nigeria’s Ifeanyi Chiejine, who was 16 years and 34 days old at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.

The Group H clash Tuesday also saw another record broken – the 22 years and 256 days between Phair and South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi is the biggest age gap between teammates in Women’s World Cup history, according to FIFA.

Phair is the first player of mixed heritage to be selected for a Korean World Cup squad, according to Reuters. After announcing her selection, South Korea coach Colin Bell said it was his duty to protect the teenager from the glare of publicity.

South Korea next face Morocco in Adelaide on Sunday.

Norman Whiteside is the youngest player to appear at the men’s World Cup, representing Northern Ireland in 1982 at age 17 and 41 days.

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Additional reporting by Reuters.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Sports

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