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Wishing to Beat Japan to World Cup

Posted June. 20, 2003 21:56,   


A game neither can yield.

The Korean national women`s soccer team will take on Japan in the third place play-off of the 14th Asian Women Soccer Championship to be held at 5:00 p.m. on today in Bangkok, Thailand. The winner of the game will go directly to the World Cup.

On the other hand, the loser has to take on the powerful Brazil and has to beat it to go to the World Cup. Now, the Korean team is ready for the sortie. It has played in the World Cup, but is ready to fight till the last minute to win a ticket.

Korean women`s soccer team coach Ahn Jong-kwan confidently said, "Japan has shown a mature, concentrated play through this game. But we are full of energy. Even the defeat by China has not put a dent in it."

But the history proves against the Korean team. Korea has never won over Japan. For the 13 games, Korea lost eight and tied five.

Japan has an amateur club league and has produced many players. One of the former league players now plays for a US women`s pro team. South Kore, however, has shown a considerable improvement so far. For example, North Korea shut out Japan 3-0 recently, while South Korea tied with North 2-2. North Korea, which has already secured its ticket to the World Cup, will take on China after the match between South Korea and Japan.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com