My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Ji Soyun pen 21, Jeon Gaeul 25
Melissa Herrera 17, Karla Villalobos 89
South Korea made one change from their defeat to Brazil with Hwang Boram replacing Kim Doyeon in defence. Costa Rica also made one change with Cristin Granados replacing Carolina Venegas up front.
South Korea started strongly and created a couple of chances in the early stages. Great play from Kang Yumi allowed her to pick out Yoo Younga, but her shot was well saved by Dinnia Diaz. And then a quick throw sent Ji Soyun into the box who fired her shot at Diaz and who caught the ball at the second attempt.
They came even close when Kwon Hahnul shot from just outside the box, but Diaz got enough to tip the ball onto the bar.
And then Costa Rica took the lead. Poor South Korean defending had handed Brazil both their goals, and once again their defending was suspect. From a free-kick on the halfway line, Lizy Rodriguez launched the ball into the box, and somehow it was allowed to reach Melissa Herrera who placed the ball over the keeper. Despite Hwang Boram’s best efforts, she couldn’t stop the ball crossing the line before hooking the ball away, although the goal-line technology was required for the goal to be confirmed.
But four minutes later South Korea had equalised. Yoo Younga was stupidly clipped by Cristin Granados and the referee awarded the penalty. Chelsea’s Ji Soyun took the penalty and sent the keeper the wrong way.
Costa Rica could have had a penalty soon after as this time is was Granados who went down under Lee Eunmi’s challenge. It was a challenge that could have been given, especially after the similarity to South Korea’s successful spot-kick.
Then South Korea took the lead. Kang put a delightful ball into the box which was attacked at the near post by Jeon Gaeul whose glancing header bounced over the line at the far post.
South Korea could have had a penalty early in the second half when Diana Saenz fouled Yoo Younga on the edge of the box. As the challenge was on the line, it should have been a penalty but it would have been a difficult call to make. Jeong curled the ball in at goal which was parried by Diaz and Cho Sohyun couldn’t finish from the rebound.
They should have had a third as Carol Sanchez cleared the ball straight to Kang, but she took far too much time and eventually her shot was blocked.
For large parts of the second half, Costa Rica dominated possession without creating a good scoring opportunity, with Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno having a couple of her shots blocked, and Granados shooting wide. But they came close as they worked the ball to Lixy Rodriguez whose shot smashed off the top-left corner. The South Korean keeper Kim Jugmi had left that effort, thinking it was going wide and was relieved to see the shot not sail into the back of her net.
South Korea reminded Costa Rica of their threat as Lee Geummin’s cross was millimetres from setting up Jung Seolbin.
But then, in the 89th minute, Costa Rica equalised. A stunning 30-yard pass from Katherine Alvarado picked out the run of Karla Villalobos who chested the ball down before placing the ball to the left of the keeper. In her celebration, Villalobos was left in terms as she came to terms with the enormity of her goal.
Costa Rica could have won it as Lixy Rodriguez’s driven free-kick found Alvarado who headed just wide.
Woman of the Match:
Katherine Alvarado – Costa Rica.
South Korea: (4-2-3-1) Kim Jungmi, Kim Hyeri (Lim Seonjoo 84), Hwang Boram, Shim Seoyeon, Lee Eunmi, Kwon Hahnul, Cho Sohyun (c), Kang Yumi (Jung Seolbin 63), Ji Soyun, Jeon Gaeul, Yoo Younga (Lee Geummin 77).
Goals: Ji Soyun pen 21, Jeon Gaeul 25.
Booked: Kim Hyeri 69, Lee Geummin 81, Hwang Boram 86.
Costa Rica: (4-5-1) Dinnia Diaz, Diana Saenz, Carol Sanchez, Wendy Acosta, Lixy Rodriguez, Melissa Herrera, Shirley Cruz (c), Katherine Alvarado, Raquel Rodriguez Cedeno, Maria Barrantes (Karla Villalobos 76), Cristin Granados.
Goals: Melissa Herrera 17, Karla Villalobos 89.