South Korea 1 vs. 1 China.
11.00am push back
It’s a match up between two Asian national teams today. China are in their change strip and wear yellow. A draw would be ok for Korea, but China definitely need to win in order to go through, due to their inferior goal difference. They promptly do so in the fourth minute, taking the lead with a reverse stick strike from their number 19 Xiaoxue Zhang.
Both teams are playing a 3-2-3-2 formation, with the Koreans looking, perhaps a bit more fluid in what they are doing. Most of what is exciting being created by China is coming through their Xiaoxue Zhang in these early stages. In the tenth minute the South Korea’s Hyejin Cho flashes a shot towards the back left post, but it rolls a couple of inches wide. Four minutes later a close range shot bobbles up off the Korean keeper’s pads and away. Soon after this China win a short for a foot in the circle. The shot is taken by Bingfeng Gu, but it is fizzed wide of the right hand post.
With the clock ticking down towards the end of the first period Korea throw an attack forward. With 0.3 of a second remaining Ok Ju Kim pounces on a missed interception in the Chinese circle and scores the equaliser. After fifteen minutes the scores are even, with a goal apiece.
Early in the second period Meng Liu is shown a green card for not retreating far enough away after South Korea win a free hit. After her two minute suspension is served, she comes back onto the pitch and in the sixth minute strikes a shot against the Sora Bae’s pads, but it wasn’t an easy angle to score from.. The game has been peppered with unforced errors, naive decisions and a lack of experience from the players. It’s been a poor game With a minute remaining China get a short corner. It’s played to the right post and deflected, but gos wide, hitting the side netting. At half time, the score remains 1 – 1.
The second half begins and China have know gone to a 4-3-3 formation. Nine minutes into the second half and I’ve got nothing to write about. My God! This game is boring. Japan will be feeling a bit hard done by after they went out yesterday with one of these two teams being allowed to qualify for the next round. Shortly after I write this sentence, China send another shot wide of the post. She was stood directly infant of the goal, at top circle. Hyejeong Shin is shown a green card. Three minutes later South Korea get a short corner. The Chinese refer the decision, saying that it didn’t hit their foot. The appeal is turned down, but it doesn’t matter in the end; a mis-trap at the top circle means a hurried pass to Seul Ki Cheon and her attempt is no where near the goal and rolls off the back line. Seunga Park takes a revers stick shot, but it goes wide as well. I’m now wondering if I can get some whiskey in my tea. At the end of the third period he game remains tied; South Korea 1 – 1 Japan.
Eight minutes into the final quarter and the Chinese work the ball up the right hand side and to the top of the ‘D’, but the pass into the circle goes off the back line. It’s been the best move of the period, so far. In the tenth minute, a tussle between China’ Qiuxia Cui and Seul Ki Cheon of South Korea sees a green card shown to both players. Something lost in translation for Seul Ki Cheon, which sees carry on playing, but she is eventually shown off the pitch. Shortly afterwards Qiu Guo of China is shown a yellow card. It’s now 10 vs 9 on the pitch. The game ends 1 – 1 and the Koreans advance to the next round.