South Korean women’s soccer saw their dreams of qualifying for their first Olympic Games dashed as they failed to cross the Great Wall of China.
The South Korean women’s national team, led by head coach Colleen Bell, drew 1-1 with China in their final Group B match at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games Asia Second Qualifying Round on Monday at the Xiamen Yigret Stadium in Fujian Province, China.
With the draw, South Korea improved to 1-2-2 (5 points) and secured second place in Group B behind North Korea (2-1).
South Korea’s second-place finish in Group B leaves them one point behind Group A runner-up Philippines (2-1), who will advance to the quarterfinals next February. The second round of the Paris Olympic Games features 12 teams divided into three groups, with the best of the first and second place finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals next February.
South Korea was once again knocked out by China in the final qualifying round for Tokyo 2020. The only consolation this time was that China (1 win, 1 draw, 1 loss) was also eliminated in third place.
South Korea hasn’t qualified since women’s soccer became an Olympic sport at the 1996 Atlanta Games. That compares to four appearances at the Women’s World Cup, soccer’s biggest feast, where they qualified four times (2003-2015, 2019-2023).
South Korea struggled against China in what was supposed to be the final test. Despite the fact that they closed the gap in the match, they struggled to fend off their opponents’ strong offense. In the 21st minute, Korea conceded the first goal to China’s Uri Gumula on a free kick, but the goal was called back due to an offside call.
Korea was also unlucky to have a crucial counterattack blocked by the goal. South Korea’s ace, Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC Wimin), latched onto a penetrating pass from teammate Casey Eugene Fair and fired a right-footed shot that hit the left post.
However, South Korea stepped up their offense at the start of the second half. With more ball possession, South Korea pounded on the Chinese goal and were rewarded in the 17th minute. On a free-kick opportunity, defender Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon FC Wimin) rattled the Chinese net with a sensational backheader off a ball from Ji So-yeon. It was Shim’s first goal in 87 matches at the A level.
South Korea conceded a second goal in the 33rd minute off a set piece. Wang Shanshan’s header from a free-kick was unstoppable, costing them a 먹튀검증 well-deserved victory. They were fortunate not to concede on a one-on-one opportunity with Yan Jinjin in the 39th minute. But South Korea needed a win and will now look forward to the next Olympics.