‘Group of Death’ Velho must beat Thailand, break ‘bad blood’ with North Korea to reach first-ever Olympics

‘Group of Death’ Velho must beat Thailand, break ‘bad blood’ with North Korea to reach first-ever Olympics

The South Korean women’s soccer team is looking to qualify for its first-ever Olympic Games. To realize their dream, they must overcome the “bad blood” with North Korea.

The women’s soccer team, led by Colleen Bell, will face Thailand at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday at Xiamen Egret Stadium in Fujian Province, China, in the first match of the second Asian qualifying round for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Divided into three groups, the qualifiers will feature the top three teams from each group and one team from each group that finishes second will advance to the quarterfinals. The two winners of the quarterfinal tournament next February will advance to the Olympic Games.

South Korea, ranked 20th by FIFA, was drawn in Group B with Thailand (46th), China (15th), and North Korea (unranked). South Korea’s Group B is known as the “Group of Death. While Australia is expected to dominate Group A and Japan is expected to dominate Group C, Group B is hard to call.

That’s why it’s imperative for South Korea to win their first game against Thailand, a team they’re inferior to in terms of objective power. South Korea has met Thailand 10 times, winning seven, drawing one and losing two. While their most recent meeting was in the group stage of the 2014 Incheon Asian Games (AG), they have won their last four matches against Thailand.

After repeated bitter disappointments at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand in July and the Hangzhou AG last month, South Korea will be hoping to redeem their bruised pride by punching their ticket to the Olympics. South Korea hasn’t qualified since the inception of Olympic women’s soccer in 1996 in Atlanta. The last time they qualified for Tokyo 2020, they lost to China in the playoffs.주소

South Korea must overcome North Korea to get closer to the Olympic stage. South Korea will play the second game against North Korea on Sept. 29 after the first game against Thailand. The second game against North Korea is not only a chance for South Korea to wipe the slate clean, but also a watershed moment for the team to advance to the quarterfinals. Even if they beat Thailand, a loss to North Korea would put a lot of pressure on them for the third game against China.

It’s only been a month since their last meeting with North Korea. Velho suffered a heavy 1-4 loss to North Korea in the quarterfinals of the Hangzhou AG on March 30. The Koreans were unable to overcome their numerical disadvantage after Son Hwa-yeon (Hyundai Steel) was sent off in the 41st minute. At the time, there was a lot of criticism of the officiating. Players from both teams collided during the game, and Bell publicly expressed his dissatisfaction with the officiating after the loss.

Revenge will require overcoming a disadvantage Women’s soccer has always dwarfed North Korea. In 20 career meetings, they have won just one (3 draws, 16 losses). The one victory came in 2005 at Anbang.

The women’s team, which has been training at the Paju National Football Center (NFC) since Sept. 16, departed for China on Sept. 23. There is no age limit for women’s soccer at the Olympics, so the best of the best, with the exception of a few overseas players, will take part in the qualifiers.


Leave your message