SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – South Korea’s women’s soccer team’s bid to reach the round of 16 at the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time in eight years was thwarted by Morocco, a team that had been tipped to win the tournament. Colleen Bell’s (England) side were unable to overcome a sixth-minute goal from Ibtisam Zaidi in their second Group H match of the Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup 2023 on Tuesday at Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, Australia, and fell to a 1-0 defeat .The 0-2 loss to Colombia on Sept. 25 was the second consecutive game without a goal, leaving the team in last place in the group (0 points) and effectively out of the competition .After conceding a first-half penalty against Colombia and a second goal shortly thereafter following a goalkeeping error, the national team showed signs of renewal against Morocco by making three changes to its starting lineup. Park Eun-sun (Seoul Metropolitan Government), a veteran striker, started up front, while defender Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon FC), who conceded a penalty in the previous match, was replaced by Hong Hye-ji (Hyundai Steel). In goal, Yoon Young-gl (BK Hecken) was replaced by Kim Jung-mi (Hyundai Steel).But before the game even started, an injury blow derailed the national team’s plans. Lim Sun-ju (Hyundai Steel), one of the starting central defenders, complained of calf pain while warming up, forcing Shim Seo-yeon to take her place .Add to this the fact that the team conceded a goal in the first half, and the team’s impatience grew .Just six minutes into the match, Hanane Ait El Haji’s cross from the right flank was headed home by Zaidi to give Morocco the lead .It was the first concession of the game, much earlier than the first 30 minutes against Colombia .Conceding an early goal in a World Cup tournament is bound to create a lot more pressure than in other matches .At the World Cup in France four years ago, South Korea conceded in the first half of every game. In the first game against France and the third game against Norway, they conceded goals within the first 10 minutes. The result was three straight defeats and a last-place finish in the group stage .After conceding the goal to Zaidi, the team tried to attack with the active participation of wing-backs Jang Seul-ki (Hyundai Steel) and Chu Hyo-joo (Suwon FC), but the passes that should have created decisive chances in the attacking area were often inaccurate and not enough to threaten the opponents .Park Eun-sun’s decision to start up front paid off to some extent, but it didn’t translate into a goal. Park, who stands over 180 centimeters tall, won most of the aerial battles with her opponents and recorded several headers and shots on goal. In particular, the closest she came to scoring in the first half was in the 26th minute when Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC) sent a 스포츠토토존 cross from the left flank that Park Eun-sun headed just wide of the left side of the goal.Down 0-1 to start the second half, the national team made a tactical change to increase their attacking numbers, switching from a three-back to a four-back with strikers Moon Mi-ra (Suwon FC) and Choi Yoo-ri (Hyundai Steel), while removing wingback Choo Hyo-joo and forward Son Hwa-yeon (Hyundai Steel).After that, the ball flow became smoother and Korea took control of the game, but the final goal was not easy to come by.Morocco, playing in its first-ever Women’s World Cup, was ranked 72nd in the FIFA rankings and was the weakest team in Group H, but Korea, ranked 17th in the FIFA rankings, had 14 shots on goal with no shots on target.After suffering a 0-6 defeat in their first game against Germany, the Moroccans scored their first goal of the tournament against South Korea and then held on with defense and counterattacks to claim their first win.The only consolation for the Koreans was the sparkling performances of ‘young bloods’ Casey Eugene Fair (PDA) and Chun Garam (Hwacheon KSPO), who came on late in the game.

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