NT Football action is finally back with the EAFF Cup tomorrow at 9am EST, and the men’s edition in two days at… 9 am EST? The first match for our Taeguk Ladies is China; China’s not an easy opponent by any means but considering they’ve got home advantage… I’d consider it an accomplishment should we win.
Whereas our men’s national team has been able to deal with the Chinese NT fairly easily (16W 11D 1L), to the point where they have a term Konghanzheng (공한증) meaning “fear of Korea,” the scenario is completely opposite for the women’s teams (3W 5D 23L). The Chinese WNT is STRONG. They’ve won 7 Women’s Asian Cups in a row from 86 – 99, played in 6 Women’s World Cups (and got 2nd place in 1999), among other impressive feats. In the recent WWC they made it to the quarterfinals only to meet the USA. Their roster is actually kind of intimidating:
What kind of 24 year old has 89 caps? A 22 year old with 55? The entire team is under 26 but in total they’ve got close to a 1000 caps…. how many games do these girls play anyway?
Now I’m no expert in the women’s game but pretty much everything points to “we’re gonna lose,” but Korea was still able to beat them 3-2 back in January 2015 in the 2015 Shenzhen 4 Nations Tournament. Do we have hope? Maybe. Back then we had Ji So Yun who of course will not participate in the EAFFC due to Chelsea duties, but in the WWC JSY wasn’t performing all that well anyway, and aside from her and Park Eun Sun who coach YDY usually doesn’t feel like playing anyway, we are full strength.
That brings us to team news for Korea. I think anyone who’s followed the WNT for some time should recognize all the names because it’s virtually identical to the WWC roster plus or minus players involved in qualifying. If YDY wanted to go full strength right away, our lineup is fairly predictable, though the striker position is in a bit of a question that Yoo Young Ah was not called up (I believe injury). I suspect Jung Seolbin will take her place.
But then again we might want to rest some key players vs Japan because well you know it’s Japan. Who knows what conservative Yoon DY will do? We’ll see in ~ 19 hours!
Prediction: 1-1 Draw or 2-1 Loss