Not to be outdone… Women’s soccer takes on North Korea to complete Olympic homework
“As a player, I think the refereeing is part of the game, but it was disappointing. If we played well, I don’t think it would have hurt us.” (Women’s National Soccer Team captain Kim Hye-ri)
Colin Bell’s women’s soccer team battled North Korea in the quarterfinals of the Hangzhou 2022 Asian Games, but the DPRK’s forward Son Hwa-yeon was sent off just before halftime, giving the North Koreans the upper hand, and they conceded three more goals in the second half to lose 1-4.
“I watched it over and over again after the game,” Kim told reporters on the first day of the team’s training camp for the second Asian qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympics, “and I don’t feel intimidated or pressured (by North Korea). Even though the result was bad, we gained confidence that we can do it.”
North Korea defeats China 2-1 in first round
Need to beat them to reach the quarterfinals
The team will now face North Korea for a spot in the Olympic Games on Sept. 29 at 4:30 p.m. in Xiamen, China. It’s their first meeting in a month since the Asian Games quarterfinals.
South Korea beat Thailand 10-1 in the first round of group play on Sept. 26, while North Korea defeated China 2-1.
With one win apiece, both teams must defeat their opponents in order to top the group and advance to the quarterfinals. Nerves will be high from the start for both teams.
In the Asian Games quarterfinals, the North Korean players clapped hard when they high-fived their Korean counterparts before the game.
Kim Hye-ri said, “(The North Korean players) hit harder than I’ve ever felt in an international match. I thought that we shouldn’t be beaten like this, so I gave them a push as well, but the further back we went, the stronger they got,” Kim explained.
‘Hat-trick’ pair against Thailand – Cheongaram
South Korea to put on a ‘fireworks show’ against North Korea
South Korea faces North Korea with an all-time series deficit of 1 win, 3 draws and 16 losses, but will be led by 2000s stars Casey Eugene Fair (Independent) and Cheon Garam (KSPO), who completed a hat trick in Thailand.
“We were a little disappointed with our second-half performance against North Korea (in the Asian Games quarterfinals), but we played a very good first half,” Bell, who is trying to reach her first Olympic Games, said on her first day of training, “and we’ll find a way to win.” 굿모닝토토
The North Koreans are favored in terms of objective strength, but the rookies are expected to give them a run for their money if they put on a “fireworks show.
Kang Chae-rim (Hyundai Steel), who scored multiple goals in the first match against Thailand, as well as Lee Kum-min (Brighton) and Moon Mi-ra (Suwon FC), who were substituted in the second half and had a ‘goal taste’, are ready to go.