One of South American's best-ranked national team (Colombia) were up against one of Asia's best-ranked national team (South Korea) in their first match of the 2023 Australian and New Zealand World Cup.
In the first ten minutes of the game both sides were applying heavy pressure on each other as both teams continued to make impressive runs inside their opposition's half. So far only South Korea have been getting the shots in with one of them being a free kick just outside of the box.
Manuela Vanegas received a yellow card for heavily misjudging the bounce of the ball which led to her raising her foot at a dangerous height whilst also being extremely close to South Korean players' heads. This is the foul that gave South Korea their free kick
As the first half of the match went on we saw Colombia having more possessive control of the ball but have found themselves falling short when it comes to the attacking threat. Caicedo seems to be the player who would help apply that attacking threat. Her positioning was fantastic and her tactical ability on the ball was proving challenging for South Korea. If she could get her crosses directly into the oppositions box Colombia could have well and truly found themselves with a higher goal tally.
In the 28th minute of the match Colombia were awarded a penalty for a handball violation from South Korean defender Shim. The ball was whipped into the penalty box from a free kick. Colombia were trying everything to keep the ball in the box trying to find a way to get it into the back of the net. A shot towards the goal hit's the hand of Shim, very unfortunate for Shim. Colombian's all-time leading goal scorer, Usme, takes the penalty. It's a fantastic penalty, Usme takes a rapid low to the ground shot that whips into the left side of the net. The confidence shown in the penalty makes it no surprise that she's Colombians all-time leading goal scorer.
29' 1-0 Colombia
Caicedo makes it two with a fantastic run down the left wing and an even more fantastic shot with her right foot. As she reaches the penalty area she cuts into the centre and takes a shot that curves towards the right side of the net. South Korean keeper, Yoon, manages to get her hands on the ball but it unfortunately deflects off her hands into the back of the net.
39' 2-0 Colombia
10 minutes were added to extra time for the first half presumably from the two goals and the fouls that have taken place.
South Korea for the majority of the match seemed to have held back and soaked up the pressure from the attacking force that Colombia have produced within this match. With South Korea 2-0 down there was a shift of play from them in the extra time of first half as they became more possessive over the ball and were willing to make run's and brave crosses in order to be a threat for the Colombians.
S. J. Lim receives a yellow card in the extra time of the first half for her slide tackle on on Usme.
South Korea were proving that they could be a challenge in regards to attacking threats as a very well done cross came into the centre of the penalty box with G. M. Lee their to receive it. She heads the ball but the Perez manages to save it.
The second half begun very similar to how the first half had begun with both teams applying pressure and attacking heavily but then gradually shifting to a style where South Korea would invite the attack and soak the pressure whilst Colombia would take full advantage of the invite and make themselves known in the oppositions half. With 30 minutes left of the match it was clear that something had to change for South Korea. Colombia had become dominant in attack whilst South Korea would occasionally find the odd chance that would end up fumbling into Perez's hands.
With 15 minutes of the match left to go it was visible the intensity of the match had begun to impact on the players. South Korea decided to substitute Cho So-Hyun & Son Hwa-Yeon come off for Park Eun-Son & Kang Chae-Rim. Colombia also decided to take off Leicy Santos for Marcelo Restrepo. 5 minutes later and World Cup history was created with the substitute of Choe Yu-Ri coming off for the youngest player to ever contend in a World Cup, Casey Phair, Who is only 16 years old.
The match comes to an end with Colombia taking the 3 points with them back to GROUP H of the World Cup. Both teams had showed why they both deserved to be in the World Cup with Colombia having an incredible attacking threat whilst South Korea proved that they can handle the pressure and control their squad as efficiently as possible in order to stop Colombia from scoring goals.