WWC 2015 Round of 16: Korea Republic

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Everything you need to know about Korea Republic before their Round of 16 match against France.

KOREA REPUBLIC TAKE ON FRANCE IN THE ROUND OF 16. READ OUR FRANCE PREVIEW HERE.

Group Performance

South Korea have had quite a journey to get to the knockout stage of the World Cup, first suffering a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Brazil, followed by a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica and finally beat Spain 2-1 to qualify for the next round. If one thing can be said of the Taeguk Ladies, it’s that they never gave up even when the odds seemed stacked against them. While they never got past the group stage in their previous World Cup campaign in 2003, it seems that the South Korean ladies are back and better than ever, managing to hold off Costa Rica and Spain who both looked more likely to qualify to the next stage. A stellar last minute effort from the South Koreans in their match against Spain, as well as a fair bit of luck, cemented their spot in the final sixteen and is a milestone for the women’s game in South Korea.

Korea Republic have their work cut out for them

They’ll beat France because…

The Taeguk Ladies are a resilient bunch who have shown us already that they are up for a challenge. They fought valiantly for their spot in the final sixteen and are aware of how formidable their next opponent is, so they will be prepared. There will be plenty of nay-sayers out there but stranger things have happened and this might just be the first big upset of the tournament!

They’ll be knocked out by France because…

France is a strong side, so strong in fact that they finished their group stage with a shattering 5-0 victory over Mexico. Their previous World Cup efforts in 2011 saw them come in at fourth place and they have been one of the most consistent European sides since their first ever Women’s World Cup qualification in 2003. France finished the group stage in equal first place with England but with a higher goal difference.

Can they win the World Cup?

Probably not but the Taeguk Ladies will certainly try their best. Hesitation in front of goal during crucial moments may be their undoing but with a little assertiveness and the will to win it could be a close contest.

Best moment of the tournament so far…

The winning goal against Spain has to be it. Some quick passing saw the ball find Kim Sooyun on the right-hand side of the field. Taking two touches, she sent the ball flying into the box, past Spanish goalkeeper Ainhoa Tirapu and into the back of the net. The defender later admitted that the winning goal was actually intended as a cross, not a shot, saying: “I got lucky”. Well, that’s the best fluke I’ve ever seen.

Key Player

Ji Soyun – the South Korean forward has been at the heart of her team’s effort to come this far in the World Cup, scoring first against Costa Rica and being voted Player of the Match in South Korea’s win against Spain. When she’s not playing for her nation she’s playing for Chelsea FC, that somewhat famous English Premier League club… you might have heard of it?

Injuries/Suspensions

With five yellow cards handed out to various South Korean players they are still safe from any match suspensions and are also lucky to be injury free.

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