South Korean women’s soccer at generational crossroads, can they restore honor in Hangzhou?

By Choi Song-ah (Reporter) = The South Korean women’s national soccer team, which finished the 2023 FIFA World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a 1-1 draw and a group stage exit, has a series of important competitions ahead.

After returning home to their respective clubs on Friday, the team will now prepare for the Asian Games, which kick off next month in Hangzhou, China.

Starting on September 25, 17 nations, including Korea, will compete in women’s soccer at the Asian Games, with the top five finishers from each group and the best three finishers from each group advancing to the quarterfinals for a single-elimination medal match.

South Korea is in Group E with Hong Kong, the Philippines, and Myanmar.

Korea’s best result in women’s soccer at the Asian Games since Beijing 1990 is a bronze medal.

In the last three editions – Guangzhou 2010, Incheon 2014 and Jakarta-Palembang 2018 – the team finished third, behind Japan, China and North Korea.

It will be interesting to see if the team can make history in Hangzhou by reaching its first final.

South Korea reached the final for the first time at the last major Asian tournament, the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup, where they finished runners-up.

After the Asian Games, there will be little time to catch your breath as the second Asian qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games is scheduled for October 26.

South Korea has yet to qualify for the Olympic women’s soccer tournament and will be looking to make history.

The Koreans, who were the last team to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, were hoping for an upset after falling 1-2 to China in the first leg and taking a 2-0 lead in the away leg. However, they conceded a late goal and were forced into extra time, narrowly missing out on qualification.

In this second round of qualifying, 12 nations will compete in three groups, with the best performing team from each group advancing to the final round, scheduled for next February.

South Korea has been drawn into what has been described as a “group of death” as they are in Group B alongside China, their final qualifying opponents from the last tournament, North Korea and Thailand.

North Korea, a perennial powerhouse in Asian women’s soccer but without a FIFA ranking due to its recent international absence, emerged as a grouping variable when it was drawn in Port 4, which coincidentally was in the same group as us.

There is still one more FIFA-approved Women’s A-Match period between November 27 and early December, so the national team will likely close out the 2023 schedule with a trial match.

It will be interesting to see if England coach Colin Bell, who has emphasized the need to nurture young talent throughout this World Cup, will give more opportunities to young players.

The average age of South Korea’s players at the World Cup was 29, making them the “oldest” of the 32 participating nations. The aging of the national team, which has been characterized by the “fighting spirit” of its veteran players, has been highlighted by the team’s second consecutive group stage exit from the World Cup, further reinforcing the need for generational change.

Bell, who has been using 2000-born Chu Hyo-Joo (Suwon FC) as a mainstay since the beginning of his tenure in 2019, has also given some younger players a chance at the World Cup.

Casey Eugene Fair (PDA), a 2007-born mixed-race player born to an American father and Korean mother, earned his first call-up to the senior national team in the final domestic call-up before the World Cup and was included in the final roster for the tournament.바카라

Fair came on as a late substitute in the first group game against Colombia, becoming the youngest player ever to make a World Cup appearance at 16 years and 26 days old, then came on as a substitute in the second game against Morocco before making her first start in the third game against Germany three days later.

Chun Garam (Hwacheon KSPO), a 2002-born striker who rose through the ranks of the age-group national team and was selected as the No. 1 rookie in the WK League at the end of last year, also started alongside Paire against Germany and gave the team a boost, indicating his potential for future use.

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