The Taegeuk Ladies want to capitalize on their excellent performance in the Asian Cup to shine on the world stage. South Korea’s overall showings in the competition have been poor but a chance of a turnaround is possible with a talented squad in hand. The team looks to be more proficient this time with their solidity being their folklore.
South Korea made it to FIFA Women’s World Cup three times before with their last 16 qualification in 2015 the only time they qualified for the knockouts. This is also their third straight participation since their debut in 2003. The Taegeuk Ladies have managed to win only once in this competition coming at Canada eight years ago against Spain. In 2019, their period ended in the group stages with South Korea failing to win any match and scoring just one goal. That came in the 2-1 loss to Norway in the third match after they suffered a 2-0 loss to Nigeria and a 4-0 humiliation to hosts France.
Qualification for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
South Korea finished as one of the final five sides in the Women’s Asian Cup last year to qualify for the 2023 Women’s World Cup. Colin Bell’s side also made it to the final of the competition, only losing to a late-minute dramatic winner from China in a 3-2 defeat. Former Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun netted five times including in the final from the spot.
Preparation for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
The preparation for the Women’s World Cup has gone well for the team recently with three wins from three in the pre-World Cup friendlies. Twice against Zambia and the last against Haiti. However, the Asian giants stumbled while playing against the European heavyweights in the Arnold Clark Cup back in February. Otherwise, the team has performed well against closely ranked nations and below as their main purpose for the side remains knockout football.
South Korea Squad for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023
Goalkeepers: Kim Jung-mi (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Yoon Young-geul (BK Häcken), Ryu Ji-soo (Seoul)
Defenders: Kim Hye-ri (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Lim Seon-joo (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Jang Sel-gi (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon UDC), Lee Young-ju (Madrid CFF), Hong Hye-ji (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Choo Hyo-joo (Suwon UDC)
Midfielders: Cho So-hyun (Tottenham Hotspur), Ji So-yun (Suwon UDC), Lee Geum-min (Brighton & Hove Albion), Jeon Eun-ha (Suwon UDC), Kim Yun-ji (Suwon UDC), Chun Ga-ram (Suwon UDC), Bae Ye-bin (Uiduk University)
Forwards: Choe Yu-ri (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Son Hwa-yeon (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Park Eun-sun (Seoul), Moon Mi-ra (Suwon UDC), Kang Chae-rim (Incheon Hyundai SRA), Casey Phair (Players Development Academy)
Head Coach: Colin Bell
36-year-old Park Eun-sun is the second oldest player in the squad after two-years older goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi and they are the only members in the squad to have played in the first-ever Women’s World Cup for the nation 20 years ago. Park was recalled for World Cup duties by coach Colin Bell after her last contribution for the national team in 2015. Casey Phair will be making the squad at the age of 16. The youngest ever, man or woman, to represent the country at a senior level. The development academy product will also be the first player with a mixed heritage to represent South Korea on the stage.
The midfield is an area that South Korea wishes to dominate their counterpart with their excellent double pivot of Cho So-Hyun of Spurs and star player Ji So-yun. The pair not only stitches play but also comes up with important goals for their team. A trend they followed in the friendlies as well as in the previous competitions. As the team will be more compact against creative opposition, their defensive awareness will also come as handy for the side.
South Korea’s weak display against prominent teams in the competition earlier will be the bump they are fearful of. They also have kept only one clean sheet this year which shows the defense is not rigid. Even though the goals have poured in friendlies recently, there is no prolific or standout goal scorer in the side required to make a difference in a stage like this.
Key Player: Ji So-yun
Ji So-yun is certainly the face of the South Korean team with her brilliance making the show for her side. Her defence-splitting passes will always keep the threat on and the tone from the middle of the park. Ji was a standout performer even at a disappointing outing for the nation four years back in France. She is a tournament player with bagging important goals in a time of asking. Another crucial point is her consistency. All of these make Ji So-yun one of the finest in the competition.
How will South Korea Lineup at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023?
South Korea FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Groups & Fixtures
Tuesday, 25 July 2023
Colombia vs South Korea - Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney (07:30)
Sunday, 30 July 2023
South Korea vs Morocco - Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide (10:00)
Thursday, 3 August 2023
South Korea vs Germany - Brisbane Football Stadium, Brisbane (15:30)
South Korea is tipped to come second in their group behind expected winners Germany and they should not find any trouble for doing so. The team will have more competition in the knockouts that needs to be handled. Facing the prospect of taking on Brazil or France in the last 16 will be too much to overcome for the team. The main target though will be registering more wins in the Women’s World Cup with comparatively an easier group than the last editions.
Note: All timings are in Indian Standard Time (IST)
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