Will Korea Women’s National Team head coach Colleen Bell’s intense training regimen pay off?
The 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand kicks off on Tuesday. South Korea, who are in Group H, will open their campaign against Colombia on July 25. They will then face Morocco on Aug. 30 and Germany on Aug. 3.
While South Korea has performed well under Bell, they have often been let down by a lack of last-minute heart. In the final qualifying round for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where they were attempting to qualify for their first-ever Olympic Games, they conceded a penalty in the 28th minute of the first leg to lose 1-2 to China. Needing a two-goal victory in the second leg, the team scored the first two goals, but conceded back-to-back goals in the second half and extra time to lose 3-4 on aggregate.
At the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup, they exceeded expectations and reached the final stage for the first time in their history, only to be frustrated by another late goal. Goals from Ji So-yeon and Choi Yoo-ri in the first half gave Korea the lead, but they conceded back-to-back goals in the 23rd and 27th minutes of the second half. They had to settle for a runner-up finish after conceding a last-minute goal.
Bell, who signed a new contract after the Asian Cup, has set his sights on the World Cup as his next goal and has identified overcoming the lack of depth at the back as a challenge to go one step further. “We have to learn to deal with the pressure,” he said in his first post-tournament interview. We played well in the Asian Cup final, but we couldn’t handle the pressure in the last 20 minutes,” he said, analyzing the problem.
At the 2023 New Year’s press conference, Bell’s favorite Korean word, “high intensity,” emerged as a keyword for Colin Bell. Through high-intensity training, the team wanted to ensure that they had the stamina to maintain their performance and focus until the final whistle.
It’s paying off. South Korea has been better in the second half of their recent A matches. In a two-game series against Zambia in April, they trailed 1-2 at halftime of the first game before scoring four goals in the second half to win 5-2 on aggregate. In the second game, they scored three second-half goals to win 5-0. In their last outing on July 7, the team conceded first and came back with two goals in the second half. In all three games, they scored after the 35th minute, as they never lost focus.
It’s what Bell wants to see. “They got stronger and stronger as the game went on,” Bell said in the postgame press conference. I think that’s the effect of high-intensity training.” 메이저놀이터
The high-intensity training will need to pay off in the knockout stages if the team is to reach the round of 16 or beyond. Bell is wary of his group opponents, Colombia, Morocco, and Germany, as they all have fast players in common. “If we get tired and let our guard down, it will be harder to deal with their speed.
The players are aware of this and are preparing for it. At the departure ceremony, team captain Kim Hye-ri said, “When our physical strength drops, our concentration drops, and I think we have the physical strength now. However, we are not perfect yet. We need to analyze our weaknesses.