Taegeuk Ladies on to quarterfinals in World Cup

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Taegeuk Ladies on to quarterfinals in World Cup

The little Taegeuk Ladies have secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago with a 4-1 win over Mexico yesterday.

Playing under steady rain at Dwight Yorke Stadium in Scarborough, Korea downed Mexico in dominating fashion. With the win, Korea secured a spot in the second round regardless of the results of their final group match against Germany on Monday.

Grouped with Germany, South Africa and Mexico in Group B, Korea is tied for the group lead with Germany - both have two wins but the Germans have dominated the competition so far with 19 goals for and one against. Korea will have to win their match against Germany to finish at the top of the group. A dominant force in women’s football, Germany trounced Mexico in their opening match 9-0 and dominated South Africa with a 10-1 win in their second match.

“We are confident about our chances against Germany,” said Yeo Min-ji in an interview with the JoongAng Ilbo. “We’re determined to win this match for the U-20 squad players who lost to Germany in the finals [of the U-20 Women’s World Cup].”

The U-17 women’s national team will be counting on Yeo to deliver on another solid performance against the Germans. Yeo played an instrumental role in the win against Mexico by providing an assist on Kim Na-ri’s opening goal in the 27th minute. Mexico’s Fernanda Pina scored the equalizer in the 37th minute to tie the game at one goal apiece. Yeo delivered again, scoring the go-ahead goal in the 40th minute to put Korea up 2-1.

With Korea nursing a one-goal lead, Kim Da-hye added a goal in the 76th minute and Lee Yoo-na scored another in the 90th minute.

Yeo has had an impressive tourney so far, with two goals in Korea’s 3-1 win over South Africa in their opening match on Sunday. While Yeo has been the go-to player on the U-17 national team, she is not in her best shape. She recently reinjured a torn a ligament in her right knee that she originally hurt back in middle school.

By Jason Kim [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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