The road to Canada
Korea Republic booked passage to their second FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 12 years, by finishing fourth at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Vietnam. Pitted against China PR, Thailand and Myanmar in Group B, the Taeguk Ladies opened their qualifying campaign with a 12-0 demolition of Myanmar with both Jeon Gaeul and Cho Sohyun recording hat-tricks. Park Eunsun then struck three times and set up another as the Koreans beat the Thais 4-0 to claim their ticket to Canada 2015. Although a goalless draw with China PR was enough for them to top their group on goal difference, defending champions Australia proved too strong for the women in red as they lost 2-1 in the semi-finals. They subsequently lost the third-place play-off by the same scoreline against China PR.
Strengths and style
The Koreans boast one of the most formidable attacking lines in the continent, led by prolific striker Park Eunsun who won the golden boot with six goals at Vietnam 2014. Park, who made her FIFA Women’s World Cup debut at the age of 16, will be hoping to open her account in Canada along with talented forwards Ji Soyun and Yeo Minji, who have come through the ranks to establish themselves in the senior national team since their heroics at previous editions of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. Captain and defensive midfielder Cho Sohyun is the lynchpin of the clockwork organisation, while veteran goalkeeper Kim Jungmi is eyeing her second appearance at the world finals.
A stalwart centre-back in his playing days, Yoon Deokyeo took part in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy before hanging up his boots the following year. The 54-year-old was appointed as coach of Korea Republic women’s national team in December 2012, having led the young Taeguk Warriors at the 2003 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Finland.
FIFA Women’s World Cup record
- This is Korea Republic’s second appearance in the finals, having made their debut at USA 2003
- It was a baptism of fire for the Taeguk Ladies, who suffered three straight defeats at the hands of Brazil, France and Norway in the group stage
What they said
“We’ve got a plenty of players with the potential, who have taken part in the previous FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups. Hopefully, they will come of age at Canada 2015 as long as they can keep up the good work alongside established veterans. In fact, finding the balance and the harmony between the groups will be the key to our success,” Yoon Deokyeo, Korea Republic coach