Monday, July 26

Super South Korea

I don’t think many expected heading into the U20 Women’s World Cup that the South Koreans would be one of the top teams, but right now they appear to be the class of the tournament. I will admit that I missed seeing the Germany quarterfinal the other day, but the fact that they are performing well is not surprising either considering they are one of the dominant European nations and are hosting the tournament.

But South Korea has been excellent. They dominated Mexico in the quarters and the only blemish on their slate thus far is the final group game, a 1-0 loss to the defending champion United States in which they rested several players having already advanced to the final eight. Mexico had looked good in the previous matches in the tournament, but just could not handle South Korea this weekend.

The sad news is that the loss to the United States meant they finished second in their group and now will meet Germany in the semifinals, arguably pitting the two best teams against one another a game early. Meanwhile, the other semifinal will feature to other clubs that posted upsets as Colombia stunned Sweden and the US, like they had ahead Ghana, failed to take advantage of controlling the match, falling to Nigeria in penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Germany appears to be the favorite, on paper, at this point being the only group-winner remaining in the final four. Thursday will be the big day as South Korea looks to knock out the last surviving European team.

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