“You have to be ready to get hit, you have to be ready to get beaten.”
That’s what veteran Ji So-yeon, 32, of Suwon FC Wimin, is thinking ahead of the first match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup between Australia and New Zealand.
Ji So-yeon spoke to reporters in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on Sept. 22, with an emotional expression on her face. South Korea will face Colombia in the first match of Group H at 11 a.m. on Aug. 25.
“I’m actually a little nervous and excited,” Ji told Yonhap News, adding, “I’m looking forward to seeing how I look after the game, but I’m also worried.” “It’s a pressure that we have to overcome,” she said, adding, “We don’t know if this time (waiting while watching other teams play) will be blood, flesh, or poison for us. I think it’s time for us to show that we have the mental strength to deal with what we’re feeling.”
Ji has been playing for the national team for 17 years, since 2006, and is a veteran of 145 A matches. “As each day approaches, the players feel a lot of pressure. There’s a lot of pressure. It’s because we’re watching (the other teams’) matches.”
Unlike the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, where they were in Group A, South Korea are in Group H, which is the last group. They will play their first game after watching the other teams battle it out. In their first World Cup match four years ago, South Korea lost 0-4 to the hosts, France. Colombia, their first opponent at the World Cup, is no slouch either. They have a reputation for being a tough team. Colombia gained some “notoriety” in Australia on Nov. 15 when a closed-door exhibition match against Ireland was called off after just 20 minutes of play. After the game, Ireland said it “got too intense and we ended the game early.” “Ireland is also a tough team, and I was very surprised to see that they canceled the game after 20 minutes,” said Ji. “I think we should be prepared to ‘get beaten up’ to some extent.” 안전놀이터 “The Dutch players were also very surprised. They told us to be careful when we play Colombia.” The Netherlands played an exhibition match against South Korea on the 16th.
“We should expect them to harass us a lot,” says Ji. We have to be ‘ready to be beaten,'” she said, adding, “We won’t back down either. We’re going to be tough,” she said.
Colombia (25th) has a lower FIFA ranking than Korea (17th). “For women’s teams, there is less of a correlation between ranking and ability than for men,” says Ji, “It’s not that we’re better than Colombia. They are a threat to the top teams.” “We shouldn’t be surprised by Colombia’s intensity. “The first 20 minutes are the most important for us,” she said, adding, “If we can hold our ground and they run out of energy, we can capitalize on that.