Women’s team triumphantKorea’s female soccer team made a giant leap forward this year by winning the first East Asian Football Federation Women’s Cup and showing renewed potential at an international level.
The South Korean team beat China and North Korea for the first time in 15 years, and in the last game against Japan in Daegu on Saturday it held on for a difficult 0-0 draw.
The North Korean team came in second with two wins and one loss. North Korea beat China 1-0.
The secret of the team’s success was an optimal mixture of new players and more experienced ones. Players who took part in the Women’s World Cup USA 2003 included Yoo Young-sil, Han Jin-sook, Jin Suk-hee, Lee Ji-eun and Shin Sun-nam, all of whom were on defense and midfield.
Meanwhile, younger players Park Eun-sun and Park Eun-jung, who helped defeat China twice and won the 2004 U19 Asian Championship, were designated strikers.
Team manager An Jong-goan’s strategy focused on defense in games with North Korea and China and sudden attacks employing Park Eun-sun.
After the game against China, An was even asked by a Chinese reporter about when his term as the national team manager ends.
The team won $50,000, one tenth of what the men’s championship winner receives.
by Jeong Young-jae