The Taegukboks’ “high-intensity soccer” will finally make its debut on the world stage. The stage is set for the first match of Group H at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 against Colombia (ranked 25th) on June 25 at 11 a.m. KST.
The South Korean women’s national soccer team (ranked 17th in the world) is one day away from burying the hatchet on the world stage. South Korea’s women’s soccer team packed up early at the 2019 World Cup in France, losing all three of their group games. They lost 0-4 to hosts France in their opening match, before falling to Nigeria (0-2) and Norway (1-2). Even though the national team’s main players were in their prime at the time, they failed to make a meaningful impact on the World Cup stage.
The women’s national team has since entered a new era with the appointment of Colin Bell (61-England) as head coach. Bell has won European trophies with Frankfurt (Germany), Avaldnes (Norway), and the Irish national team. He is the first foreign coach in the history of the women’s national soccer team.
Bell prepared for the international stage by competing regularly for four years. Bell’s keyword is “high intensity. He demanded that his players have the stamina to press forward for the full 90 minutes, and he assembled a squad that was a mix of youth and veterans to keep energy levels high.
Since then, Bell has seen results, including the 2019 East Asian Football Federation (EAFF) E-1 Championship (runner-up), the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup (runner-up), and the 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship (third place). Next up for Bell is the World Cup, the first “Festival of Nations” since his appointment.
Bell and his players have repeatedly emphasized that they will give their all against their first opponent, Colombia. After reaching the round of 16 for the first time since 2015 in Canada, the Women’s National Team is aiming for the quarterfinals. That’s why they need to win their first game.
The variable is Colombia’s “rough play. Colombia played Ireland in a behind-closed-doors exhibition game on Sept. 15 that was called off after 20 minutes. The Irish were unable to withstand Colombia’s rough play and declared the match abandoned. At the time, local media and the Irish Football Association said only that “after consultation and due to concerns about further injury, the decision was made to abandon the game,” leaving the question marks. 안전놀이터
The foul was later shown on social media and other media outlets. The Colombian’s late foul sent Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan tumbling to the ground. “I’ve never seen that in my 47 years of football,” said Ireland coach Vera Pau.
Four years of “high intensity soccer” was about to be put to the test. In his first World Cup, Velho faced a formidable opponent. It will be interesting to see if Belho’s style can overcome Colombia’s tough soccer.