Korean female soccer ace Ji So-yeon’s kicking sensation with her right foot was still shining.

Ji’s direct free-kick goal with her best friend midfielder Cho So-hyun of Birmingham City made Czech goalkeeper Barbora Bottikova freeze. This clearly shows Ji’s ability to sign a two-year contract with Seattle Lane FC in the U.S. National Women’s Soccer League, away from Suwon FC in the WK League.

The Korean women’s national soccer team, led by coach Colin Bell, beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in the women’s soccer A match at 3 a.m. on the 25th in Lisbon, Portugal, thanks to Ji So-yeon’s free-kick goal and youngest Casey Eugene Fair’s additional goal.

A match 155 games Ji So-yeon’s great right foot free-kick goal

The Korean women’s national team is going through a very important period, although it was regrettable that it could not make it to the finals of this year’s Paris Olympics. Veteran players who have played for the national team for at least 10 years, including goalkeeper Jungmi Kim, defender Kim Hye-ri and Shim Seo-yeon, and midfielder Ji So-yeon and Cho So-hyun, cannot always hold on to the position, which is why the task of generational change is on the horizon.

Forward Casey Eugene Fair and midfielder Kwon Dae-eun, who set the record for the youngest participation in the FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted in Australia and New Zealand last year, were born in 2007 and emerged as the main players in the generational change, but it is true that their steps are cautious.

Even if the women’s soccer major tournament is not just around the corner, Colin Bellho flew to Portugal because this process cannot be overlooked to see the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup beyond the 2026 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

This is the first warm-up match held during the women’s soccer A match, which is slightly lower in FIFA ranking than Korea (20th), but met the Czech Republic (28th), which is called the dark horse of European women’s soccer, and Colin Bell, who put forward a 3-5-2 formation, began to lead the game by choosing to pressure the opponent from a relatively high position.

Three minutes after the start of the game, our players began their full-fledged attack with Choi Yu-ri’s powerful right diagonal shot, and scored a beautiful first goal in the 16th minute.

Ace Ji So-yeon’s right-footed inside kick went over the defensive wall of the Czech Republic and brushed the bottom of the crossbar in a 22-meter direct free-kick opportunity obtained by captain Kim Hye-ri with a half-beat fast movement. It was Ji So-yeon’s 70th goal of the 155th A-match, which was flinched by goalkeeper Barbora Bottikova but failed to respond as if her two feet were stuck on the grass.

Our players, who finished the first half 1-0, scored a very meaningful additional goal and the game’s winning goal 30 seconds after the start whistle of the second half by Sandra Barros (Portugal). Casey Eugene Fair (Angel City FC), who received a pass from Choo Hyo-joo (Incheon Hyundai Steel) from the left side, boldly drove the ball in and put a right-footed inside kick in low.

The choice of dribbling breakthrough was good, but the success at the point where the angle of the shot was very difficult was not seen as a goal made by a 17-year-old young player. The joy of the fourth goal of the seventh A-match was even greater because it erased the moment when he hit a left-footed shot in the 31st minute of the first half.

In the 53rd minute, Czech Republic’s Eva Bartonova scored a stunning right-footed volley with a back cross from midfielder Gaterina Svitkova, but our players were not too shaken and kept the 2-1 scoreboard.

At the 80th minute, he displayed his concentration on the second ball at the right corner kick set piece opportunity. In the game, Jang Seul-ki (Gyeongju KHNP WFC) left footed shot that marked his 100th A-match hit the left post, and Choi Yuri (Birmingham City WFC), who received a pass from Jeon Eun-ha (Suwon FC Women), aimed to score a decisive goal with a mid-range right footed shot. However, Choi’s right footed ball was blocked by Czech goalkeeper Barbora Bottikova’s super save.

Through this game, Korean players surpassed Czech Republic in ball occupancy rate, but they left four shots on goal out of the 16 shooting records, displaying a 25 percent accuracy rate. Although the record is not satisfactory, it can be assessed positively given that Korean players have shown poor goal-getting ability at every critical juncture in major championships.

Now, the Korean players will move to Estoril at 3:15 a.m. on Wednesday and play another warm-up match against Portugal, ranked 21st in FIFA rankings.


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