“I got a lot of texts from people I know in Germany saying, ‘What happened?
Colleen Bell, 62, head coach of the South Korean women’s national soccer team.
스포츠토토The South Korean women’s national soccer team returned home from the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 on Friday at Incheon International Airport. The team finished the tournament with a record of 1 win, 2 draws, and 1 loss, finishing fourth in Group H. They faced Colombia in the first round and Morocco in the second round. The team suffered helpless defeats against Colombia in the first match and Morocco in the second match, but they played an evenly matched match against ‘FIFA No. 2’ Germany in the third match and drew 1-1. The draw sent Germany crashing out of the group stage for the first time in their history, and while it may have come too late, it was a testament to Korea’s strength.
According to News1, Bell told reporters afterward, “We showed what we can do against Germany in the third game of the group stage. But I’m disappointed that it didn’t show up in games one and two. In the first game against Colombia, we did very well in the first 30 minutes. But then we conceded a penalty and the players froze. After we conceded the second goal, the players didn’t think we could come back. Even in the Morocco game, the players were nervous,” he reflected on the result.
However, the draw against Germany was definitely more than expected. “After the game, I got a lot of texts from people I know in Germany saying, ‘What the hell happened?’ So I told them that Germany was a normal game and that the second half of Colombia and the first half of Morocco were abnormal,” Bell said behind the scenes.
Most notably, the younger players stood out against Germany. Unlike in Games 1 and 2, South Korea started “16-year-old” Casey Fair (PDA) and “21-year-old striker” Chun Garam (Hwacheon KSPO) up front. An unconventional choice by Bell. It paid off. Casey and Chun were not intimidated by the German defense, which was made up of big, physical, world-class players. Instead, they were bold and attacked with vigor. In the third minute of the first half, Casey fired a calm shot that found the back of the net.
“I was pleased with the performances of the younger players, such as Fair and Chun, and Lee Young-ju (Madrid CFF) played well after a year out with an injury,” Bell said.
South Korea and Germany in action during the 2023 World Cup Australia-New Zealand Group H match on Wednesday. South Korea’s ace Ji So-yeon (right) tries to attack despite opposition pressure. /AFPBBNews=News1
A soccer match between South Korea and Germany during the 2023 World Cup Australia-New Zealand Group H match on Wednesday. South Korean players greet soccer fans after the match. /AFPBBNews=news1
The 2023 World Cup Australia-New Zealand Group H match between South Korea and Germany on Wednesday. South Korea’s Casey Fair (center, number 19) attempts a header. /AFPBBNews=News1
Bell added: “Against Germany, expectations were low, so the players were up for the challenge. Korea always plays well when the expectations are low, but when the expectations are high, they struggle to handle the pressure. It is necessary to create an environment where the team is exposed to the stresses of competition more often,” he said, adding that even strong teams such as Germany, Italy, Brazil, and Canada could not handle the expectations at this tournament.
“This is an important time for Korean women’s soccer. Most of the quality players are in their 30s or mid-30s. There are some good young players as well. So the next few weeks will be very important,” he said, emphasizing the need for generational change.
Cho So-hyun, who scored the opening goal against Germany, speaks to the press after arriving in Korea. /Photo courtesy of News1
Chun Ga-Ram arrives at the airport. /Photo courtesy of News1
The women’s soccer team returns home from the Women’s World Cup. /Photo: Courtesy of News1