WWC Round of 16: France v South Korea

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The Football Sack brings you all you need to know from France’s Round of 16 win over Korea Republic as they qualified for the World Cup quarter finals.

France are through to the quarter finals!

What Happened

France was taking no prisoners today, crushing South Korea’s hopes of quarter final qualification with a 3-0 victory, cemented by the 7th minute. The first goal of the match came in the 3rd minute courtesy of Marie Laure Delie; a beautiful bit of team-work from France started with Camile Abily who passed the ball off to Laure Boulleau to set-up Delie for the finish. The following goal came from Elodie Thomis via an all too easy one-two with Eugenie Le Sommer, leaving South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jungmi wondering what had happened.

While France continued to dominate the remainder of the first half, South Korea managed to regroup and showed resilience in keeping the advances of Les Bleues momentarily at bay. It was a long intermission so the French wasted no time in getting the entertainment going again with Le Sommer setting up Delie again in the box who sent the ball flying under Kim Jungmi’s legs making it 3-0 by the 48th minute.

All in all the South Koreans were out-classed by the French whose team performance was next to faultless. France continued to bombard South Korea with an onslaught of shots until the final whistle leaving no doubt in anyone’s mind that they mean business this World Cup.

Stand Out Performances

As we’ve already mentioned, the French squad all had a superb game but it must be said that the combination of Le Sommer and Delie in attack was simply fantastic. The two strikers seemed determined to make the South Korean defenders lives difficult and they did just that.

Le Sommer, who assisted all three French goals today, has had a hand in almost every goal the French have scored this tournament. She is at the heart of everything positive the French do and has to be a candidate for player of the tournament, especially if France can produce a positive performance against Germany.

It’s important Le Sommer keeps playing at this standard with Louisa Necib still largely on the periphery. Thomis deserves a mention also for her goal and formidable attacking presence, which put South Korea under pressure numerous times.

South Korean goalkeeper Kim Jungmi executed some excellent saves and kudos must be given to her for continuing the game despite a hard knock to the face, which caused some bruising and swelling on her cheekbone and under her eye.

Talking Points

This was a fixture that passed with little incident. The big question is whether consecutive drubbings over Mexico and South Korea have restored enough credence in this Frence side’s potential as tournament winners. Germany will not allow them as much freedom to dominate proceedings and we’ll have to see a defensive aspect of Philippe Bergeroo’s side that we haven’t fully witnessed at this World Cup.

What it Means

Korea’s Round of 16 elimination becomes their highest World Cup finish, and definitely represents progress for Yoon Deok-yeo’s side. France are on track to match their fourth place finish in 2011 but Germany await in the quarter final.

Needs Work

This was an essentially faultless display from the French who have recovered superbly after the Colombia disaster. The South Koreans were unable to truly threaten Bouhaddi in the French goal and the back four were rarely given anything to worry about. Forwards simply despise playing against the intimidating duo of Renard and Georges. A much firmer test against Germany allows no room for complacency.

Korea were unable to recover from a disastrous start that saw them 2-0 down in eight minutes. It was an opening salvo that effectively ended any chance of progression and will sour what has been an otherwise positive campaign for the South Koreans. They need to produce stronger starts to games – they’ve conceded five goals this tournament in the opening quarter of the match.

What Next?

France will play Germany on the 26th of June to determine the first semi-finalist.

Goal of the Day

So many to choose from! Delie’s second goal which came just minutes after the match reconvened sealed Korea’s fate and made it apparent that France were in no way backing down. Le Sommer had a great run down the left-hand side of the pitch, looked up on the edge of the box to find her teammate, passed it off to Delie who deftly sent the ball under Jungmi who was mid-air trying to block the shot.

Miss of the Day

Le Sommer had a chance to score herself in the 31st minute but didn’t make the most of her opportunity. Receiving the ball unmarked in the middle of the box, she had a clear shot but sent it just wide of Kim Jungmi’s goal with the Korean goalkeeper out of position and unable the save.

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