The South Korean women’s national soccer team avoided the worst possible outcome of an early exit from the 2023 FIFA World Cup Australia-New Zealand after two games.
Colombia, ranked No. 2 in the FIFA rankings, defeated Germany, one of the tournament’s heavy favorites. A dramatic second-half winner gave Colombia a 2-1 victory in their Group H match at the Sydney Football Stadium on Tuesday.
With the score tied at 1-1, Manuela Banegas scored the game-winner from a corner kick in stoppage time. With the win, Colombia has now won two in a row to lead Group H. Germany and Morocco are tied for second place with one win apiece, but Germany holds a +5 goal differential. South Korea is in last place with two losses.
If Germany had beaten Colombia today or the two teams had tied, South Korea would have been eliminated early regardless of their game against Germany on August 3. However, with Colombia’s win, the round of 16 is still possible.
But that’s just math, as South Korea is -3 in goal differential and Germany is +5, so they’d have to beat Germany by a whopping five goals in the final game to advance.
Prior to the Germany-Colombia match, the Colin Bell (England) coached South Korea (ranked 17th in FIFA) fell 0-1 to Morocco (ranked 72nd in FIFA) in their second Group H match at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Australia on Sept. 30, after failing to overcome a six-minute first-half deficit.
South Korea also lost all three games at the World Cup in France four years ago. Including the 2015 loss to France in the Round of 16, the Korean women have lost six straight World Cups.
Against Morocco, Bell made the gamble of starting veteran forward Park Eun-sun (Seoul City Hall) in her first World Cup appearance in eight years. It had been eight years since Park had started a World Cup match since the round of 16 against France in Canada in 2015.
Son Hwa-yeon (Incheon Hyundai Steel), who usually partners with Choi Yuri, was paired with Park Eun-sun. In the midfield, Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC), Cho So-hyun (Tottenham Hotspur), and Lee Keum-min (Brighton), all of whom have played or are currently playing for England, started as they did against Colombia. Ji-So-yeon and Cho played their 147th A match together, making them the most capped South Korean players, male and female. 꽁머니사이트
The back three consisted of Kim Hye-ri, Hong Hye-ji (Incheon Hyundai Steel), and Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon FC). Lim was initially named to the starting lineup, but while warming up, she suddenly complained of calf pain and left the field. Shim Seo-yeon, who was not selected by Bell against Morocco after conceding a penalty for blocking a shot in the first match against Colombia, was called up at short notice. Jang Seul-ki (Incheon Hyundai Steel) and Chu Hyo-joo (Suwon FC) were the left and right wingbacks.
The goalkeeper’s gloves were worn by Kim Jung-mi (Incheon Hyundai Steel), who was born in 1984 and is the ‘eldest’ member of the national team. Yoon Young-gl (BK Hecken), who made a mistake against Colombia that led to the opposition’s second goal, remained on the bench.
South Korea’s 0-2 defeat to Colombia in the first round was a cliffhanger.