As many of you reading this probably feel the same way, I’m still overjoyed that Korea was able to advance from the group stage of the 2015 Women’s World Cup. However, although Korea has already done enough to gain admiration from its fans, the journey for this team is not finished. The country only reached the knockout stage with its senior teams a couple of times in its history. Once in 2002. Another in 2010. And the Women’s team has improved the record by reaching the Round of 16 in the Women’s edition of the World Cup for the first time ever. A win against the French is crucial because without a doubt it would bring about awareness and reason for change back home. Without further ado, let’s take a look at what we can except in tomorrow’s uphill battle.
Time: June 21, Sun, 4 PM EST (US)/June 22, Mon, 5 AM (KT)
Where to watch: Korean broadcast: KBS 2TV, SBS/ US broadcast: Fox Sports 1
Defense pushed to the edge:
Korea’s defense is slightly below where it should be. And that will be a major problem going into this match. In Korea’s last game against Spain, the Taeguk Ladies let a through ball in and at that point I thought our World Cup run was finished. All of Korea three previous opponents have scored first twenty minutes into the match. There also seems to be poor communication between Jun Min-Kyung and the rest of the team. In the last match, her goal kicks would almost always lead to turnovers. The French are meeting Korea after having its best game so far in the World Cup and there is a high probability that they will be able to spot errors in the Korean defense.
The Taeguk Ladies MUST up their passing game
If you were watching Korea’s last match, you were probably able to see how hard the Korean team was making it for itself when passing the ball around. Unfortunately for us, Japan has that department working to maximum capacity. We certainly aren’t the worst team in terms of technicality. Whenever confidence was gained, Korea got up from its knees and started to work again. But pathways for passes need to be opened. And passes simply need to be more accurate.
I think what the Taeguk Eujahs need to focus on is possession. Since the team doesn’t take full advantage of the chances they create, this will greatly improve the probability of success. As Roy put it, “Korea’s women at their best is when they play a flowing passing style of play. They’ve demonstrated some of that in their stronger 2nd half against Brazil and more consistently in the match vs Costa Rica – a game that was so close to becoming their first World Cup win.” Adding to Roy’s point, Korea will need to use this flowing passing style of play to move towards the final third as much as possible.
This is a team that is far more technically skilled and organized than we are. In their last group game, five goals went past the Mexican net which led to people making revaluations. There is still reason to hope however, that France might not keep this energy alive. Their performances in their first two group games reveal errors as well. Korea will be not be an easy opponent for them.
Because I am a bit biased towards my motherland and for the sake of keeping a positive outlook, I will decline on making a prediction. Sending positive energy for the match tomorrow. Daehanminguk fighting!!!
Tavern Owner intruding: artificial turf is still a hot topic of debate at this Women’s World Cup, the subject of a previous lawsuit brought by the top Women’s footballers earlier (included as a signatory: Ji So-yun).
It’s appeared to have impacted the forwards, particularly Abby Wambach who’s complained of the different bounce and speed on turf vs natural grass. She’s called the situation, “a disaster.”
While team Korea has seen some error prone passing, including some over and underweighted passing by Ji, she’s come out forcefully saying the different turf shouldn’t be an excuse. That sentiment was also echoed by coach Yoon.
But truth be told, it is impacting dribbling and passing, with a noticeable lack of on-average goal scoring though the group stage, even when you factor some of the high scoring routs by Germany and France.
We mentioned SI’s re-discovery of FIFA rigging the brackets so that France and Germany would hypothetically face each other in the quarterfinals. Korea does have a chance to disrupt their preconceived narrative however.
-more musings on that later, TO is on the Go.