Women’s soccer faces a fateful second leg against Morocco.
Head coach Colleen Bell’s women’s national team will face Morocco in the second match of Group H at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 on Tuesday (June 30) at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, South Australia.
South Korea lost 0-2 to Colombia in the first leg. Their third-place matchup is against FIFA’s No. 2-ranked team, Germany. A win against Morocco is essential to keep their chances of reaching the round of 16 alive. Given the number of possibilities, they need more than just a win, they need a multi-goal victory.
South Korea reached the round of 16 in Canada in 2015. On that occasion, they completed a dramatic comeback from a 0-2 loss to Brazil in the first round, before drawing 2-2 with Costa Rica in the second round and beating Spain 2-1 in the third round to punch their ticket to the last 16.
“We know what’s at stake against Morocco,” said Bell. “We know what’s at stake,” Bell said, emphasizing the importance of the Morocco game. 꽁머니
Morocco is the first Arab nation to qualify for the Women’s World Cup.
It is ranked 72nd by FIFA. They are the second lowest ranked team in the World Cup after Zambia (77th). Their inexperience showed in their 0-6 loss to Germany. Two of the goals were own goals.
After the loss to Colombia, Bell analyzed the defeat by saying, “We were slow to think.” Since then, the team has been preparing for the Morocco match by emphasizing on-the-spot decisions and not being tied to formations. The focus has been on improving their finishing as they need to score multiple goals.
Gizlilan Shebak and Rossella Ayane are two players to watch out for. Shebaq was the MVP of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco’s runner-up finish. Ayane is a veteran, having played alongside Ji So-yeon at Suwon FC and Chelsea, and currently playing alongside Cho So-hyun at Tottenham Hotspur.
The first-leg loss made it a tough road. But it’s too early to give up. A win against Morocco will keep their hopes of reaching the round of 16 alive.