The U.S. Women’s National Team kicked off their World Cup campaign with a win over Haiti.
Head coach Colleen Bell’s women’s soccer team came from behind to win 2-1 against Haiti in an exhibition match at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on Aug. 8. The team struggled against Haiti’s speed and physicality and finished the first half 0-1, but back-to-back goals from Ji So-yeon and Jang Seul-ki turned the game around.
The match against Haiti was Korea’s final test before the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand on June 20, as well as the final warm-up for the first round match against Colombia.
The best members of the squad started. Kim Jung-mi was in goal, while Choo Hyo-joo, Shim Seo-yeon, Lim Sun-joo, Jang Seul-ki, and Kim Hye-ri formed the defense. Cho So-hyun, Lee Keum-min, and Ji So-yeon combined in the midfield, while Son Hwa-yeon and Choi Yoo-ri were the front two. Mixed-race player Casey Paire, a surprise call-up to the national team at the age of 16, waited on the bench.
The Koreans were threatened with a goal right from the start. After Haiti broke down the right flank, a cross into the center of the box was narrowly missed. The ensuing corner kick was just as threatening, as Kim Jeong-mi used great physicality to disrupt the goalkeeper’s handling of the ball before taking a shot. Luckily, it went wide and out of play.
The national team took the first shot on goal. Ace Ji So-yeon shined. On an attack that started from a corner kick in the fifth minute, Ji received a backheel pass from Choi Yuri and struck hard with her right foot from outside the box. The ball sailed high, but it was enough to give Haiti some early momentum.
Haiti pushed hard. In the 10th minute, a quick passing play easily broke the pressure in the national team’s midfield. After breaking down the defense, a pass into the center was barely cleared by the national team.
After struggling to match Haiti’s speed and physicality, the national team finally conceded first. In the 16th minute, the defense was caught completely off guard by a pass from the opposition, and No. 10 Nerilia Mondesir calmly slotted the ball into the corner with her right foot. 메이저놀이터
Once again, Haiti’s physicality gave them a chance. In the 20th minute, Mondesir won a ball contest and cut it back for Borja Rosellód to head towards the corner, but it was just wide of Gold. In the 23rd minute, Borja made a quick breakthrough to break down the national team defense, but was ruled offside.
The team responded with strong forward pressure to take advantage of the opportunity. Haiti didn’t make it easy either. They continued to press Haiti, but it didn’t lead to a decisive chance. In the 33rd minute, Choi Yuri received the ball on the left flank and cut it back with her right foot, but she couldn’t get a good turn and was cleared off the line.
Unable to find an equalizer, the team went into halftime with a one-goal lead.