South Korea defeats Morocco in second group game
The South Korea women’s national football team 안전놀이터(ranked 17th in the world), led by head coach Colleen Bell (62), fell 0-1 to Morocco (72nd) in a lethargic performance in their second Group H match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 on Tuesday at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Australia. After conceding a diving header in the sixth minute to opposing striker Ibtisam Zaidi (31), the Socceroos were unable to find the equalizer.
In the next match, Colombia pulled off an upset to defeat Germany (No. 2) 2-1, leaving South Korea’s hopes of advancing to the round of 16 alive. If Korea beats Germany and Colombia beats Morocco, Colombia will top the group with three points and the rest of the nations will be tied for second with one point. South Korea would then need to beat Germany by five goals or more to finish second in the group. Germany thrashed Morocco 6-0 in the first round. All of these conditions would have to fall into place, which is difficult. South Korea hasn’t won a game in eight years since a 2-1 victory over Spain in the group stage of the 2015 tournament, but the team is on the verge of a second straight shutout following the 2019 tournament (three group losses).
Fans had hoped that the tournament would mark the culmination of the “golden generation” of the Korean national team. The bellwether was Ji So-yeon (32), who finished third at the 2010 U-20 World Cup, along with Lim Sun-joo and Kim Hye-ri (both 33), and U-17 World Cup winners Lee Geum-min (29) and Jang Seul-ki (29). However, the team, which was led by players in their 30s, did not perform as well as expected. With an average age of 28.9, South Korea, the oldest of the participating nations, fell behind their opponents in terms of mobility and activity.