South Korea women’s national soccer team midfielder Lee Min-ah, 32, of Hyundai Steel (pictured), is looking forward to the Hangzhou Asian Games.
After missing the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand with a ruptured cruciate ligament in December last year, she will be back in the Asian Games nine months later. “I will play with the same mindset I had when I started,” Lee said ahead of the Games.
Colleen Bell’s team is coming off a dismal showing at the Women’s World Cup, which ended in August. Chasing their best-ever quarterfinal finish, they lost to Colombia and Morocco before drawing 1-1 with Germany in their final game to finish fourth in their group with a 1-1 draw.
Women’s soccer will look to redeem itself at the Asian Games. The returning Lee Min-ah is a key resource for the overseas-excluded Asian Games squad. With her excellent technique and wide range of vision, Lee Min-ah is expected to revitalize the team’s offense. In particular, she is expected to work well with forward Ji So-yeon (Suwon FC Wimin), who was silent at the Women’s World Cup. “After missing the World Cup (due to injury) and focusing on rehabilitation, I’m even more motivated for this tournament,” said Lee Min-ah.
Drawn in Group E with Myanmar (22), the Philippines (25), and Hong Kong (28), South Korea will likely face “nemesis” Japan in the quarterfinals if they top their group. Japan is a powerhouse in Asian women’s soccer and has won and finished runner-up once at the World Cup. While the top two teams in a group usually face off in the tournament, this time around, the top two teams in each of the four groups will meet in the quarterfinals.
Women’s soccer’s best Asian Games result was a bronze medal in Jakarta-Palembang 2018. South Korea was favored to win its first title, but fell 1-2 to Japan in the semifinals. Expectations will be high for Lee Min-ah, who scored the winning goal against Japan in Jakarta-Palembang. Lee Min-ah has also played in the Japanese WE League (Ainak Kobe 2018-2019), so she knows Japan well. 바카라사이트
Chun Ga-ram (Hwacheon KSPO), who impressed at the Women’s World Cup, is also aiming for gold with her first A-match goal at the tournament. “The goal is definitely gold,” said Chun, “and personally, I want to play in all three group games to increase my attacking points.” The team will travel to Yunzhou, Zhejiang province, China, for the final match on Nov. 19.