Korea Republic advance to round of 16 for first time
It was a storybook ending to group stage play for the Korea Republic Women’s National Team. They will be advancing to their first-ever round of 16 in the Women’s World Cup after securing a 2-1 win against Spain in Group E. Korea Republic finished with a 1-1-1 record in the group stage and tallied a total of four points to advance to the knockout stage. Brazil finished with a 3-0-0 record in Group E, and advanced with ease following a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica.
It was an entertaining ending to group play in Group E, as both matches provided a chance for the losing teams to force a draw, but it didn’t happen. Had Korea Republic lost or played to a draw against Spain, they would have finished in third and been going home. In fact, Spain jumped to an early 1-0 lead on a 29th minute goal by Vero, but Korea Republic struck twice in the second half. Cho Sohyun netted the equalizer in the 53rd minute and Kim Sooyun scored the game winner in the 78th minute. Shortly after that, Korea Republic was filled with an excitement that this team had never felt before. They have looked fairly solid since playing to a 0-0 draw against the U.S. prior to the Women’s World Cup.
In the other Group E game, Brazil played a gritty match against a Costa Rican team, who were fighting for their lives trying to advance to the round of 16. Even with a draw, Costa Rica most likely would have been left out of the knockout stage. The match was back and forth, but Brazil was able to score the game winner in the 83rd minute off of the leg of Raquel Fernandes. Both teams had plenty of chances, but the pace seemed to favor the Brazilians, and it ended up getting them the victory.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup seems to be providing everyone with many failed scoring chances, and most of them appear to be due to poorly timed plays in or around the penalty box. They also tend to come during a time when a team needs the victory the most. It has been a fairly exciting competition thus far, and the knockout stage should not be any different.
What did you expect out of Group E going into the Women’s World Cup? Is Korea Republic a team to be reckoned with in the round of 16? Leave us your thoughts in the section below.
Dustin Brown covers the Women’s World Cup for MFST, and you can follow him on Twitter @SprtsWritingMan