The ‘bell’ that didn’t ring… Ji So-yeon Was the gap big or was the European wall high?

The Korean women’s soccer team was completely defeated by England, a strong team ranked fourth in the FIFA World Ranking, 스포츠토토and realized the high wall of the world stage.

The women’s national team (ranked 15th), led by coach Colin Bell, lost 0-4 to England in the first leg of the 2023 Arnold Clark Cup held at Stadium MK in Milton Keynes, England on the 17th.

The Arnold Clark Cup is an international friendly competition hosted by the Football Association of England. Four countries, including England, Italy and Belgium, compete to determine the winner. Excluding Belgium, the three countries are participating in the Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand this summer, so it is a good opportunity to strengthen and gain experience.

England, which the Korean women’s national team faced on this day, is a strong team that won the 2022 Women’s European Championship (Euro) champion. They have not lost a single game in the preceding 26 games since Sarina Wichmann took over last year.

The Korean national team, whose key players, such as ace Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC), were unable to participate due to injuries, suffered a crushing defeat to England in not only physical struggle but also speed and technique. In the group stage of the World Cup, the national team had to deal with Germany, a strong European team that ranked higher than England (FIFA ranking 2nd).

In the early stages of the game, Korea blocked England’s offensive well. However, in the 40th minute of the first half, Jang Seul-gi fouled in the penalty area and awarded a penalty kick, and Georgia Stanway shook the net. After the first half ended 0-1, Korea collapsed in the second half. After conceding 2 more goals in just 5 minutes, in the 33rd minute of the second half, he conceded again to Lauren James and lost 0-4.

In addition to Ji So-yeon, Korea played a difficult game as players who had been in charge of the midfield, such as Cho So-hyun (Tottenham), Lee Young-joo (Madrid CFF), and Lee Min-ah (Hyundai Steel), were unable to play due to injuries. A quality pass was not delivered to the attacking camp, and a threatening scene could not be created.

In a pre-game interview, when asked how to prepare for the vacancy in the midfield, coach Bell said, “It can be an opportunity for other players,” and expected new players to play, but failed to properly fill the void in the match against England.

In a situation where there are no main players, Plan B and raising the performance of alternative powers were given as a task. Coach Bell emphasized that “all world-class teams are fast and physically strong” during the training camp in Ulsan, “the national team players have to do individual training apart from team training.”

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