“I don’t think I’ll ever forget the draw with Germany.”
Korea’s veteran goalkeeper ‘eldest sister’ Kim Jeong-mi (Incheon Hyundai Steel) gave her thoughts after reaping the beauty of her third World Cup.
The Korean women’s national soccer team, led by coach Colin Bell, drew 1-1 with “FIFA second place” Germany in the final match of Group H of the FIFA 2023 Australia-New Zealand Women’s World Cup held in Brisbane, Australia on the 3rd (Korean time). It was a game that everyone expected Germany to win easily. After two consecutive losses to Morocco and Colombia, the Korean women’s soccer warriors gnashed their teeth in front of the unrealistic number of cases in the round of 16, which were only possible if Colombia beat Morocco and Germany by more than 5 goals. I had been through ‘high-intensity’ training for the past four years, but I couldn’t go back empty-handed, helpless on the world stage, with no goals or points. After 2 consecutive defeats, I decided to show 100% of Korean women’s soccer properly, even if I couldn’t use a miracle. Cho So-Hyun scored the first goal in the 6th minute of the first half, and Alexandra Pope gave the equalizer in the 42nd minute of the first half, but that was it. Germany, who had to win to advance to the round of 16, launched a series of offensive attacks, but the fighting spirit of Korean women’s football blocked all attacks and eventually brought one point. Germany, a two-time World Cup champion, runner-up in Women’s Euro, and a strong favorite to win this tournament, was eliminated in the round of 16 for the first time in its ninth World Cup history. It was the greatest upset in the history of women’s football.
Korean women’s soccer managed to catch a thread of hope from the edge of despair. The last match was a beautiful match between veterans in their 30s such as Kim Jung-mi, Cho So-hyun, Sim Seo-yeon, Kim Hye-ri, Ji So-yeon, Lee Young-ju, Jang Seul-gi and Choi Yu-ri, and young players born in the 2000s such as Chun Ga-ram, Casey Fair, and Chu Hyo-ju. It was a game that convinced me that there is a clear future in football.
Kim Jung-mi is the signboard gatekeeper who has firmly guarded Korean women’s soccer for the past 20 years. On 10 June 2003, she made her debut in the AFC Women’s Football Championship against Thailand, where she scored 199 runs in 138 A matches. After the 2003 World Cup in the United States, she made her first round of 16 history at the 2015 Canadian Tournament, and missed the 2019 Tournament in France due to injury. In the poor base of women’s soccer, the base of the goalkeeper is even more so. In a situation where there are only 5 or 6 goalkeepers by age in the country, the journey of Kim Jung-mi, who has been running upright on a lonely and high road for 20 years, is just amazing. If you picture the situation where the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup semi-finalist will play the 2022 Qatar World Cup, you can see how amazing this is.
In an interview after the match against Germany, Kim Jung-mi smiled, saying, “I can’t forget the match against Spain (2-1 win), which advanced to the round of 16 at the 2015 World Cup in Canada, but I don’t think I’ll forget the draw against Germany, which our players came together to achieve in a difficult situation.” When asked about the meaning of the draw against Germany, she said, “After two consecutive losses, the round of 16 was a tough situation. However, coach Colin Bell and the players did not give up and concentrated on ‘Let’s do it, let’s do it’. more,” he said. She expressed regret at being eliminated in the round of 16, saying, “It’s a stupid idea, but I regret that I wish I had fought harder from the start without being nervous. It’s more regrettable to hear that Morocco is rising and Germany is falling.” In her national team, Kim Jung-mi and Cho So-hyun, who have been together for a long time at Incheon Hyundai Steel, are best friends. Thorough self-management that sets a model for her juniors is the same. Kim Jung-mi expressed her feelings, “I am so happy and grateful that (Cho) So-hyun scored her first goal in this World Cup.” “Above all, I was especially grateful to our defenders. They threw themselves so hard that the ball couldn’t even reach me, the goalkeeper, and prevent the ball from entering the box. I looked back at the intense times.
There was also a history of Korean women’s soccer where the ‘youngest’ and ‘oldest’ coexisted on the ground against Germany. ‘Mixed-race ace’ Casey Fair, who recorded the youngest participation in the World Cup at ’16 years and 26 days’ in the match against Morocco, set a record at 16 years and 35 days, the youngest starter in Korean men’s and women’s soccer history. Her eldest sister, Kim Jeong-mi, who recorded the oldest appearance in Asia at ’38 years and 287 days’ in the match against Morocco, coexisted happily in her front and back rooms. She praised her saying, “Casey did her part. She must have been nervous, but she performed wonderfully,” and she humbly said, “It was an honor for her to play with Casey.” told “I am an older sister, but on the pitch, I was united with the same passion without my older sister.
Thirty-eight years old, what did she see in her third World Cup? “She saw the wall, she saw the hope,” she replied. She said, “The wall is the wall of world women’s soccer that has become higher. There are so many good players, and if you look at the rankings, Morocco and Colombia are much lower, and you think why we can’t win, but when we run, we are lacking in things like speed and power. “I looked back. She explained, “Hope is against Germany. We met a strong team called Germany and scored the first goal. Although we conceded a goal, we won a point until the end. We showed that we can do it too,” she explained.먹튀검증
In four years she will be in her 40s. A fourth World Cup, is it possible? “I think it’s difficult because I’m older,” she smiled. However, she did not say ‘last’ easily. She said, “I don’t look away, I always manage and do it year after year. There are still Hangzhou Asian Games, and there are qualifiers for the next World Cup. I will move forward.”
The women’s soccer team, which finished the Australia-New Zealand World Cup with one draw and two losses in the group stage, will return home via Incheon International Airport on flight C1160 at 11:10 am on the 5th.