The South Korean women’s soccer team suffered back-to-back defeats against Morocco to virtually guarantee their exit from the Round of 16.

The Republic of Korea Women’s National Team, led by head coach Colleen Bell, fell 1-0 to Morocco (ranked 72nd in FIFA) in their second Group H match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. ET at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Australia. It was a historic first win for Morocco, the first Arab nation to play at a World Cup.

South Korea, which lost its first match against Colombia 0-2 on Sept. 25, was unable to come up with a win in the cliffhanger match against Morocco, marking its second straight defeat. It effectively ended their hopes of qualifying for the round of 16 ahead of their final match against FIFA’s second-ranked Germany on March 3.


-South Korea (3-5-2): Kim Jung-mi (GK)/Sim Seo-yeon-Hong Hye-ji/Kim Hye-ri/Jang Seul-ki-Jo So-hyun-Ji So-yeon-Lee Geum-min-Chu Hyo-joo/Park Eun-sun-Son Hwa-yeon

-Morocco (4-4-1-1): Khadija Ermachi (GK)/Zineb Redouani-Nouhaila Benzina-Nesrine Elshad-Hanane Ait Elhaj/Fatima Tagnaout-Gizlan Shebaq-Elodie Nakachi-Uzrawi/Amani


The 12,886 fans in attendance at Hindmarsh Stadium will be familiar to South Korean soccer fans from the 2000 Sydney Olympics men’s soccer qualifiers, where Heo Jeong-Moo-ho led South Korea to a 0-3 loss to Spain and 1-0 wins over Morocco and Chile. Colin Belho was looking for his first World Cup win at the historic stadium.

Bell made several changes to his starting lineup, both up front and at the back. He replaced Yoon Young-gl, the goalkeeper who made a mistake in Colombia, with Kim Jung-mi, the eldest sister of Kim Jung-mi, and put the physical Park Eun-sun up front to dominate Morocco. Park Eun-sun took the field for the first time in eight years, since the round of 16 against France in Canada in 2015.

But there was a twist just before kickoff. Veteran center back Lim Seon-ju, who had appeared at the press conference with Bell the day before, complained of calf pain during warm-ups and was urgently replaced by Shim Seo-yeon. The three-back starting lineup changed quickly.

At the whistle, the Korean diaspora in Adelaide and women’s soccer fans erupted in chants of “Dae~Korea!”. Morocco defender Benzina, the first Arab defender to play in a World Cup, stood out as she wore a hijab. Early on, Morocco’s forwards pressed hard. The first goal came in the sixth minute. Hanane Elhaji’s fierce cross from the left flank was met by a header from frontline Zaidi that was sucked into the corner of the net. It was an early concession. In the 16th minute, Lee Geum-min’s shot deflected off the Moroccan defense after a pass from Cho So-hyun inside the box. The fight for the equalizer continued. In the 19th minute, Son Hwa-yeon’s shot from Chu Hyo-joo’s cutback went wide. In the 25th minute, Park Eun-sun’s header from Ji So-yeon’s cross went just wide of the goal.

Morocco came out with a strong counterattack from the flanks. In the 27th minute, Amani had a one-on-one opportunity following a cross from Tagnaoud, but her left-footed shot sailed high. In the 30th minute, Uzrawi Dickie made a tackle on Ji So-yeon and took the loose ball before shooting over. In the 32nd minute, captain Gizlan Shevak shot just wide. The space behind the backs on both sides of the three-back was constantly being breached by the speedy Algerian wingers. There was also a lack of players in the midfield to receive goals. With Park Eun-sun battling up front, Cho So-hyun, Lee Geum-min, and Son Hwa-yeon working hard, and Ji So-yeon and Jang Seul-ki trying to create chances on the left flank, South Korea’s attacks failed to bear fruit. Son Hwa-yeon’s shot in the 40th minute went wide, and Cho So-hyun’s chance in the 43rd minute was also off target. The first half ended with a 0-1 deficit.

Second half

At the start of the second half, Coach Bell removed Son Hwa-yeon and Choo Hyo-joo and inserted Moon Mi-ra and Choi Yuri to speed up the offense. In the 10th minute of the second half, in a corner kick situation, Kim Jung-mi’s punch followed by Benjina’s shot went wide. She swept her chest. Korea pushed hard for the equalizer. In the 21st minute of the second half, Coach Bell took off Park Eun-sun and put the speedy Jeon Eun-ha on the flank and Moon Mi-ra up front. Morocco dropped Amani and brought on Kassi as they thickened their defense and made it clear that they were determined to defend their one goal lead. The decisive chance came in the 35th minute.

Ji So-yeon sprinted forward after a Moroccan attack failed. Benzina was shown a yellow card for grabbing her from behind. With a crucial free kick opportunity, Ji So-yeon’s shot bounced off the defense. It was not to be. In the 38th minute, Bell made a last-ditch effort by taking off Hong Hye-ji and bringing on Casey Fair. Cho So-hyun dropped to the defense. In the 42nd minute, Casey Eugene’s shot went wide of the goal. Coach Bell brought on Chun “Young Gun” Ga-ram in place of Lee Geum-min for an all-out attack, but the desperate goal was not to be. In the 43rd minute, Rosella Ayane set up a surprise attack, but her left-footed shot went just wide. In the sixth minute of stoppage time, Jang Seul-ki’s fierce shot from the flank went over the bar. Despite dominating the attack and maintaining 60 percent of the possession in the second half, Korea lacked the final touch to turn the game around, and the 1-0 defeat was confirmed.바카라사이트

South Korea has now lost six games in a row since a 2-1 win over Spain in Canada 2015. They have one win, one draw and 10 losses in 12 matches, and this is their second straight defeat in the tournament after losing the round of 16 against France in Canada and three games in France. Despite their desperation to win against Morocco, the last World Cup for the golden generation, the bar remained high for a country that has stagnated in the face of global women’s soccer’s remarkable progress over the past four years. Ahead of their final match against Germany on March 3, they were once again reminded of how difficult it is to win one goal and one point on the World Cup stage.

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