Despite the bitter disappointment of losing their respective semi-finals, the two teams contesting the match for third place at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup 2010 can hold their heads high. Both Colombia, in their maiden appearance at this tournament, and Korea Republic, who got off to a flying start here in Germany, surprised fans and experts alike by making it through to the final four.
On Sunday in Bielefeld, the two teams will be looking to make a little bit of history by securing their first podium finish at the event. One Korean player who will not need any motivation for the game is Ji So-Yun, who remains in the running for the adidas Golden Shoe as the tournament’s top scorer. The striker is currently in second place on seven goals and needs two more to draw level with Germany forward Alexandra Popp.
The big game
Korea Republic-Colombia, Bielefeld, Sunday, 12.00 (local time)
This match promises to be an veritable treat for football fans. While Choi In-Cheul’s team have shone throughout the tournament with their teamwork and slick passing, Ricardo Rozo’s squad has perhaps showcased more talented individuals. That said, there are plenty of technically gifted footballers on both sides, with Korea‘s Ji constantly catching the eye and Colombia’s Lady Andrade - who returns after missing their semi-final defeat by Nigeria because of suspension - giving opposition defences plenty to think about.
This will be the first time that these two countries have met in the women’s game. However, it will be the eighth occasion in this tournament that Asian and South American teams have faced each other. To date there is nothing to choose between the two confederations, with three wins apiece and one draw. South America has more experience when it comes to the third place match, though, with Brazil fighting for a spot on the podium three times between 2002 and 2006. Korea Republic, on the other hand, are the first Asian team to be involved in this fixture. The tie should be an entertaining one if previous editions are anything to go by – an average of 3.25 goals have been scored in previous third-place games, and twice in the past (2002 and 2006) they had to be decided on penalties.
3 – Three of the seven goals which Colombia have scored at Germany 2010 have come after the 80th minute, a trend the South Koreans will doubtless be aware of.
"Women’s football is coming on in leaps and bounds and is taking on more significance at international level," Choi In-Cheul, Korea Republic coach.