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The Korean Women Soccer Team Tries to Make It to the Quarterfinal

The Korean Women Soccer Team Tries to Make It to the Quarterfinal

Posted September. 19, 2003 23:25,   


FIFA Women`s World Cup 2003 will start its 23 days of plays with opening matches in France and Norway on Sunday. The 4th Women`s World Cup since 1991 is participated by 16 nations with South Korea getting the first ticket to the game. 4 groups of teamswill play 24 matches in Washington D.C., Philadelphia. Colombus, Boston, Los Angeles and Portland. Teams ranking first and second in each group will make it to the semifinals. South Korea will have a first match against Brazil in RFK stadium in Washington D.C. on Monday.

▽ South Korea`s goal

The Korean team, which surprisingly got the ticket for the World Cup at the Asian Championship, aims at making it to the semifinals. The South Korean team`s strategy is to end in a tie the match with Brazil, whose players have great skills but are easily swayed by atmosphere in the match, and then make a victory against France, the team Korea defeated in Beijing Universiad by 4 to 3.

"It is true that the Brazil team`s technique and strength outstrip those of the Korean team. But our players outperform Brazilian players in mental power and concentration." said the Korean team`s coach An Jong-kwan. The South Korean team Thursday arrived Washington D.C. where it will have a first match with Brazil. Korean players are doing exercises in a nearby park and an indoor artificial football field due to Hurricane on Friday.

The North Korean team, the second time participant in the Women`s World Cup since 1999, is the team to which most candidates for winner is paying keen attention. It is well qualified to be a winner in this World Cup given its great track record such as a two-time winner of Asian Championship in 2001 and 2003, and high rankings in 2002 Busan Asian game and Daegu Universiad this year. In the 1999 Women`s World Cup, the inexperienced North Korean team scored one victory and two defeats, failing to make to the quarterfinal.

North Korea is again included in the same group with the U.S., with which the North is strongly conflicting over the North`s nuclear issue. The two teams will have a match in Colombus on Sep.29th. In 1999, North Korea was defeated by the U.S. by zero to three.

▽ Who will be the winner?

While the U.S, the winner of the first and third World Cup and Norway, the winner of the second World Cup and China, the runner up in the last World Cup are pointed to as possible winners, North Korea is regarded as the variable in these teams` quest for victory.

The strongest candidate for winner is the U.S.,the No.1 in the women`s soccer with the advantage of playing in one`s own home ground. But the biggest weakness is the old age of main players. The U.S. team has 12 players who participated in the 1999 game.

The Norway team, the winner in 2000 Sydney Olympics, ranks No.2 in the world and especially well trained against U.S. players as its main players have played in the U.S. pro-soccer league.

▽ The star players of the Women`s World Cup

Mia Hamm, dubbed as "female Ronaldo" is the most famous player in the women`s football. She will beparticipating all the Women`s World Cup including this year`s one and scored 142 goals in A match alone since she joined the U.S. women`s football team in 1987. She was selected as the best player in the year by FIFA in 2001 and 2002.

Asia boasts Ssunwen as its star player. The Chinese player, selected as MVP in the 1999 World Cup, has a strong agility. Milene Domingues, the wife of soccer superstar Ronald, is also given a lot of attention for her playing in the Brazil team. The couple will be setting a record of both playing in the World Cup game.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com