South Korea lost 0-1 to Morocco in the second Group H match in Adelaide, Australia, on the 30th. Central defender Lim Sun-joo was injured while warming up just before the game. South Korea, which gave up the first goal in all 12 women’s World Cup matches, lost another point in the first half of six minutes. Ebtisam Zraidi connected a cross from the right with a diving header.
South Korea became the sacrifice of its first World Cup goal and first victory for Morocco, the first Arab country to qualify for the World Cup finals. South Korea (17th) failed to score a goal against Morocco (72nd), whose FIFA ranking is 55 notches lower. Both Park Eun-sun’s header and Casey Eugene Fair’s turning shot missed. South Korea fired 14 shots, but only zero shots were effective.
South Korean coach Colin Bell raised both wingbacks to high positions with a 3-5-2 anomalous formation. Moroccan coach Renal Pedro counterattacked, aiming for the backspace on both sides as if he had expected it. The chronic disease that did not finish in detail in the final third (the area near the opponent’s goal when divided into three soccer fields) remained. He failed to penetrate Nuhaila Benzina of Morocco, who wore hijab for the first time in World Cup history.
Coach Bell, who took charge of South Korea in 2019, shouted “high-intensity soccer” to overcome physical inferiority with physical strength and sprint for four years, but he was pushed back even when he met Morocco. Ji So-yeon lowered her head, saying, “I think I went back to four years ago.”
South Korea, which lost 0-2 in the first game against Colombia on the 25th, lost two consecutive games and finished at the bottom of the group (0 points, goal difference-3). Even if Germany tied in the same group match, South Korea was confirmed to be eliminated early, and Colombia gave up a penalty equalizer in the 44th minute of the second half, but Manuela Vanegas’s theatrical goal in the 7th minute of extra time in the second half made Germany 2-1.
Group H ranks in the order of Colombia (2 wins, 6 points), Germany (goal gains +5) and Morocco (goal gains -5) with 1 win and 1 loss (three points), and Korea (goal gains -3) with 2 losses. If South Korea beats second-ranked Germany in the third round of the FIFA rankings on the 3rd of next month, both South Korea, Germany and Morocco could be tied with one win and two losses. However, Germany defeated Morocco 6-0 in the first leg, leading the way in goal difference.
The “number of cases” is that if South Korea beats Germany by five goals and Morocco loses to Colombia, South Korea can advance to the round of 16 as the second place in the group. Even if South Korea wins by four goals in the final match, it has the same goal difference as Germany, but it will be eliminated because it is behind in multiple points. It’s easy to say, but Korea has to hope for a miracle.