U20 Women’s World Cup: Korea draws group C with England, Nigeria & Mexico

Contributing writer Tim Lee got this in about today’s U20 Women’s World Cup draw in Canada. Not a bad draw, Korea will still have it’s work cut out for them to advance out of their group later this summer. Let’s go to Tim’s report:

The Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors is not just limited to Men’s talent – despite all the hype around the Greece game just a couple days away from now, the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup draw took place today, and the young, female Taeguk Warriors learned their opponents.

The tournament will be hosted by my country of residence, Canada, who won the rights over Zimbwabwe in a bid for the 2015 Women’s World Cup as well. The tournament will be held in four cities – Edmonton out west, Toronto, home to a Koreatown, Montreal, the bilingual city, and the east coast town of Moncton.

The Koreans were seeded in Pot A, as they were the 2013 Women’s U-19 Asian Cup champions. They could not be drawn with hosts Canada, North Americans champs USA or European queens France. Also, North Korea and China were out of the picture as they finished 2nd and 3rd in the Asian qualifying round. (Japan and Australia did not qualify.)

The first pot was drawn, and Korea found themselves playing two games in the city with the lowest Korean population out of the 4 possible (450 as of 2011), Moncton. With a population of 69,000 people, (Yes, 69,000.), and not even the largest city in the Maritime Provinces region, I find it an odd choice to host matches in lieu of larger cities in the region. The Moncton Stadium also only allows for 10,000 spectators. *sighs*.

After all the dust had settled, Korea found themselves opening their tournament in Group C on the 6th of August against European runners-up, England. The English lost the European finals in extra time to France, and conceded just 2 goals all tournament, although historically, they have not been very successful at the Women’s U-20 level both continentally and internationally.

On the 9th of August, Korea faces Nigeria. To say the Super Falcons cruised through their qualifying IS an understatement – Nigeria went 31-0 in three games to comfortably qualify – this is a testament to their dominancy in African Women’s Football, as well as maybe the struggles of the other nations. They finished joint-champions with Ghana. (Africa does not crown one.) Their previous claims to fame at the Women’s Junior level is the 2010 U-20 second place finish and the 2013 U-17 victory.

Luckily, the Koreans will have one game where they should receive “home” support, and that is their final group stage game in Toronto. The Ontarian capital is home to over 25,000 Koreans, and has a Koreatown in the city. Their opponents – the Mexicans – were runners-up at the North American tournament, and were the 2011 World U-17 champions. If my calculations are correct, that means the majority of their players should be of age for this tournament.

Korea itself are indeed the Asian champions and their only blip of the qualifying campaign was a 2-2 draw with China. Jang Seul Gi, Choi Yu Ri and Lee Geum Min were the main goalscorers in the qualifying tourney. Jang was the top scorer and also was the MVP of the qualifying stage.

Recap: The groups are:
Group A: Canada (host), Ghana, Finland and our brothers and sisters up North, Korea DPR. (Based in Toronto.)
Group B: Germany, United States, China and Brazil (The CLEAR group of death based in Edmonton.)
Group C: England, KOREA REPUBLIC, Mexico and Nigeria (Based in East coast town of Moncton.)
Group D: New Zealand, Paraguay, France and Costa Rica (Perhaps the easiest group based in Montreal.)

If our U-20 Lady Taeguk Warriors make it our of their group, expect a match up with France or Costa Rica in the Quarters.

Daehanminguk Fighting!

Tim Lee is a contributing write for the Tavern

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  1. Breaking news: HWANG SEOK HO IS OUT of the friendly. He was scheduled to be tried out at RB. Park Jin Po has been called up in his place. Not good news here – We still don’t have a great 2nd RB option.

    • I’m guessing Shin Kwang Hoon isn’t very good? He plays for the current K-league champions but I haven’t really seen him play for the KNT. I wasn’t able to watch the Russia match so I don’t know if he’s really that bad or good. I’ve seen Kim Chang Soo play but I wasn’t impressed.

      • He was called up against Russia (and not in the America tour), and I did not notice him much. I too have not been impressed by Kim Chang Soo. Which is why Hong wanted to test Hwang in that position. But now, if he’s injured, we’re basically just guessing who we should go with for the World Cup. My money is on Cha.

      • Last I remember Shin playing was in the 4-0 loss to Croatia and he was dreadful. Kim Chang-Soo is in the picture, but he is still recovering from a long term injury. It will essentially be a fitness/form race between Kim and Cha to see who goes. Hwang will go as the 3rd CB, but whether he gets a test at RB depends on the final tune ups.

        • I think Cha has the edge in theory, because he has been to three world cups (right?) and now that PJS isn’t coming back, he’s a key veteran presence and not a bad option at all as a 2nd place RB.

          I think we can agree that Park Jin Po is here to make the numbers for the Greece friendly. I don’t see a scenario taking him to Brazil.

    • That’s funny. That’s exactly how most people see women’s soccer in Korea, which is why our women’s national team never goes anywhere. AND that’s what a lot of Americans say about men’s soccer, which is why the US Mens’ team never does well. AND that’s what most Koreans say about the K-League, which is why Korean soccer is getting worse. So thanks for your positive contribution, 1111… it’s really useful!

      I remember when Korea beat Japan in the final of the 2010 U-17 World Cup. Any other country would be thrilled about that as a positive sign for the future. I didn’t know anyone in Korea who cared. It was a disgrace.

      Thanks again 1111!

      • The K League situation is a bit more complicated than that, and I would argue that the quality in the K League has gotten better over the last 5-10 years. The U-17 win got some coverage in Korea, but yes not much. I think that’s more of a problem with women’s football in general and it’s lack of coverage.

    • Please remember we are trying to have a constructive dialogue here. Speaking for myself -it’s all about continuing to build a program – a women’s national program that’s rapidly assembling a credible team but relatively young and not terribly supported at the moment. Japan won the WC in 2011. China runners ups to US in ’99. The US is #1 in a world where football/soccer paired with the US as #1 sounds like a misnomer. If framed this way, I think you’d agree: as a Korean you’d want Korea to be competitive in Asia -and internationally for that matter. Why should Korea cede to Japan in this realm? Giving a chance- or to use your parlance – to give a fuck about Korean women’s athletes? That’s a no brainer. Listen, ice skating is not my bag -but who among us in the Korean diaspora wasn’t rooting for Kim Yu-na? I’m a proud father of a 15 month old Korean-American Eu-jah. I would like to see her one day excel at whatever she wants to compete in – perhaps even football. Any attempt to see the Korea National Women’s program furthering their international cred by qualifying and participating in a U20 World Cup is right on in my book.

  2. Whatever ended up happening with that korean girl(sorry forgot her name) who people kept saying was a man? Did that just blow over or did anything big come of it? Horrible that it became an issue in the first place though

  3. Excellent article…
    That said, just want to point out…”Edmonton out west, Toronto, home to a Koreatown, Montreal, the bilingual city, and the east coast town of Moncton.”

    Montreal is NOT “the bilingual city” but may be referred as “Canada’s Cultural Capital” 🙂

    Now Moncton is the ONLY official bilingual city of Canada…Not town, but city 🙂 !!!

    Kind Regards, from Moncton New Brunswick,

    • I suppose it’s relative. You have to remember that in the Korean Diaspora, our frame of reference for ‘cities’ is Seoul, New York, Chicago, LA, Toronto, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. Moncton in comparison.. well it’s not a city, it’s a suburb. But, if it’s a city in your context, I can respect respect that. Cheers to all the people of Moncton. =)

    • Big up to New Brunswick! I used to live in Portland Maine – we have much affinity for Canada. I would love to come back and visit Canada – maybe with the U20 WC and even more exciting – 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada- it’ll give me an excuse to visit up north…

      • I’ve been to Moncton before and the only negative comment I can have about is that on the roads it’s a free-for-all.

        In terms of being a city it’s just beautiful, it just confuses me why Moncton got the nod over Halifax.

    • Alright Mark, got to hand it to ya 😛

      What I meant by bilingual city is that they speak both French and English, but it slipped by mind that Moncton does speak both languages too.

      Uh-oh. A Monctoner caught me calling them a town! Ummmmm… I was trying to be relevant to the other metropolises? Sorry ’bout that 😉

      Cheers, from the Province of Quebec,

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