Women’s World Cup Correspondent
These are still gloomy days for Asian representatives at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which has entered the second round of the group stage, as South Korea loss against Nigeria 2-0 in Grenoble. Both teams previously lost in their first games and were seeking a win to keep their chances of progressing to the knockout stage alive.
The Super Falcons relied on their deadliest trio, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, and Fransisca Ordega, to rip open the Taegeuk Nangja’s defense. They were at it from the start of the game as they got the first chance after nine minutes. Luckily for the Koreans, goalkeeper Kim Minjung cam saves Oparanozie’s header.
Korea’s coach, Yoon Dukyeo, who changed his formation from a 4-3-3 into 4-5-1, bringing Lee Mina and Kang Chaerim from the beginning in hope that they can give some resistance to the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations winner. His tactics looked like they would work as Mina got a chance to shoot the ball from outside of the box from the right side but her shot just fade wide away from Nigeria’s net.
Six minutes later, defender Kim Doyeon wrongly anticipated the perfect lob cross from Rita Chukwelu to Denise Oparanozied in the penalty box. The ball hit Doyeon’s leg and rolled into her own goal to give Nigeria the lead.
Ji Soyun and her colleagues did not play badly, as suggested by the statistics. They had a total of 15 attempts, 7 of which were on target to Chiamaka N’Nadozie’s net, but none of them were goals. Taegeuk Nangja also possessed 58% of the ball and maintained an 82% pass accuracy during the game.
But Barcelona’s striker Asisat Oshoala killed the game fifteen minutes before the final whistle. Receiving a cross from Chidinma Okeke in the middle, she ran down the penalty box, dribbling the ball and passing the goalkeeper before getting the ball through the net.
With zero points from two games and six goals conceded, it will be hard for South Korea to qualify for the next round, even through the third-place ranking. Meanwhile, for Super Falcons, this wins means a lot for them before they face the hosts France.
Germany and France Saves Their Spot On Big 16 Round
Meanwhile, in another group, Germany met Spain in Valenciennes. Both of them had just earned wins previously, so the winner of this match would confirm their progression to the next round. Both coaches, Martina Voss-Tecklenburg for Germany and Jorge Vilda for Spain, made some changes from the first game.
Die Nationalelf couldn’t field their playmaker Dzsenifer Marozsan, who got a broken toe injury, and doubtful that she can feature for the remainder of this World Cup.
La Roja switched to a 4-3-3 after winning against South Africa in a 4-5-1. Young striker Nahikari Garcia was given a chance to start the game after coming on as one of the subs last time.
Nahikari, the 22 years old play for Real Sociedad, looked like a serious threat into Almuth Schult’s net since the beginning. But isn’t wasn’t who break out the silence but the opposite team, Germany, who led 1-0 before half time through the goal by newest PSG signing this summer, Sara Daebritz. Daebritz scored by turning in the rebound from Alexandra Popp’s header, as the ball wasn’t caught by Sandra Panos. Spain, like South Korea, possessed the ball a lot but were unable to make enough chances and convert them into a win,
In Nice, the hosts France won 2-1 against another European side, Norway, in front of an almost capacity crowd of 34.872 spectators. Goalless at half time, Les Bleues open the score at the beginning of the second period as debutant Valerie Gauvin converted a cross from Amel Majri from the left side with her left foot inside the penalty box. But Norway got an equalizer after Wendie Renard, who scored two goals on the first game, scored an own goal. The Olympique Lyon’s captain and defender who wanted to cut the pass from Isabel Herlovsen from the left side but instead found herself putting the ball into Sarah Bouhaddi’s net.
But the supporters were not down for so long after the iconic referee who led the game, Bibianna Steinhaus, giving a penalty for the host after Ingrid Engen fouled Marion Torrent on the penalty box. The German referee called that as a foul after review it by VAR, and Eugenie Le Sommer’s goal secured France’s place in the Big 16 Round after scoring the penalty perfectly.
Two Asian representatives will play in big matches tonight as Australia will meet Brazil in the Stade de la Mosson in Montpellier while two hours later another match in Group B between South Africa against China held in the home of PSG, Parc des Princes Stadium. Both of Australia and China who previously lost their opening game and are seeking revenge and a good result to end the bad run for Asian sides.