Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Koreans in Command
On a surface rendered almost unplayable by the rain (and, one suspects, the organisers' failure to plan properly for such contingencies), the Koreans simply looked hungrier, more composed, and sharper in front of goal.
I've commented before that I enjoy women's football for its more measured pace, and this match, despite the appalling state of the pitch, was a case in point. Even in the mud, the Koreans endeavoured to play good football, as Craig Foster correctly pointed out at half-time.
They possess some quality players, too. The eager left-winger Kim Song Hui scored a hat-trick, but even more impressive was the sturdy and adroit striker, Jo Yun Mi. She caused the Chinese defence insurmountable problems, and scored the first goal with a delightful run and finish which would have done Ronaldinho proud. The handling of the Korean keeper, Jon Myong Hui, was outstanding, given the slippery conditions.
Ominous for Australia, you might think, having such a promising group of youngsters lurking in the Asian confederation. Interestingly, though, Australia gave this same group a tough run for their money in the qualifiers for Russia; the Young Matildas met North Korea in the semi-final of the Asian qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur.
In that game, too, the conditions were poor. And, by coincidence, it was Kim Song Hui who gave the Koreans an early lead. But the Young Matildas fought their way back into the game, trailing 3-2 and pounding the Korean goal as the final minutes ticked away, before succumbing to a killer goal on the break.
If our girls are capable of stretching this Korean side, which annihilated one of the most respected nations in women's football on Wednesday, then the future of Australian women's football looks bright.