Women's World Cup Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
(All times Eastern)
Colombia (0-2-0) vs. North Korea (0-2-0), 2:45 p.m.
Bochum, Germany (Sports Network) - North Korea and Colombia are both full of
promise, but the young teams struggled at the 2011 Women's World Cup and will
try to end the tournament with a win to build toward 2015 in Canada.
North Korea and Colombia were both outclassed by Sweden and the United States
in their first two games in Germany, but at least the teams meet Wednesday at
Ruhrstadion on a more level playing field.
With a roster dominated by teenagers, it wasn't unexpected the Koreans would
struggle. Colombia, in its first World cup, had to anticipate the same fate.
But Korea manager Kim Kwang Min remained positive after a 1-0 defeat to Sweden
on Saturday, even though he knew it all but sealed his team's elimination. The
team was eliminated later Saturday, when the U.S. beat Colombia, 3-0.
"This team is very young and they are inexperienced in such a competition as
this. However, this World Cup will have taught them a lot of lessons. In four
years time they will be stronger," he said.
With 10 teenagers on the roster, including a number of starters, North Korea's
future looks good. And since the Asian nation has qualified for the last four
tournaments, a return trip in four years is likely.
Thirty-year-old defender Jong Sun Song is the only Korean player over the age
of 25, and the squad certainly showed enough poise and maturity to offer a few
glimpses of future success.
Although it has failed to score in its first two matches, the opener was a 2-0
loss to the United States, Korea was dangerous at times against both countries
and controlled parts of each match.
Colombia features six teenagers, including 17-year star Yoreli Rincon, who did
not start against Sweden but remains on track to be a star in the women's game
in the future.
The Colombians played better against Sweden, and created a few changes against
the U.S. - the No. 1 team in the world - although it was overmatched. Colombia
was eliminated with the loss to the Americans.
With no player on the team over the age of 27, Colombia also has the potential
to return to World Cup in four years, and then, both teams might stick around
longer than the group stage.
"We're a young team, with a long, successful future ahead of us," Colombia
coach Ricardo Rozo said. "This generation of players needs to learn from this
type of match in order to keep improving."
07/06 00:36:28 ET