PRE – With Brazil having won two-from-two, it’s now a mad scramble for second, with both of these sides knowing a win here will give them an edge going into the final day. The impetus is greater on South Korea, who still have to face those Brazilians. But the Asian side also knows that they can take nothing for granted with a tricky Spain coming up. They’ll need to improve greatly upon their performance against Brazil, where some suicidal defending cost them dearly.
2’ – South Korea with the match’s first chance, as she beats Lixy Rodriguez to the endline, with her cross being half-cleared. Yoo manages to get the rebound, turns, and shoots, but right at Diaz, who clutches safely.
5’ – Costa Rica a little wobbly early, as Carol Sanchez misses her header on a long ball forward, letting Ji So-Yun nearly get onto it. Diaz off her line to grab though.
6’ – Diaz saved Costa Rica early, but she almost coughs one up there, as Ji takes a tame shot that she should catch but spills. Her defenders screen off attackers though, allowing her to catch.
7’ – The Costa Rica backline is all over the place, and Diaz has to come out a long way to sweep away from Yoo.
8’ – The siege on the Costa Rican goal continues, as Kang gets endline and crosses. Ji (?) basically runs into the ball on a late rush into the box, and Costa Rica clear. Replay shows Carol Sanchez spiked Ji in the knee with a late boot. Penalty shout?
12’ – Close for Costa Rica, as Raquel Rodriguez shimmies on the ball a little and misses the goal by a whisker on a long-range effort.
13’ – It’s all-action at the moment, as Kwon’s swerving, dipping shot from the edge of the area is desperately tipped over by Diaz.
17’ – GOAL – Costa Rica (Herrera) – Bizarre goal for the Central American side! Free kick by Alvarado at the midfield stripe is allowed to bounce in the box and is dinked by Herrera over the charging Kim Jungmi. South Korea clear but not before it clearly crosses the line.
20’ – PENALTY – South Korea (Ji) – More follies in the area. A chip in the area causes chaos in the box, with the ball eventually bouncing to Yoo. Granados (!) is all the way back to defend, and she’s hard done by, as the forward makes an absolute meal out of minimal contact. Ji sends Diaz the wrong way to equalize.
22’ – Yoo almost gives South Korea another goal, as she fires from the edge of the area, forcing Diaz into another save. Carol Sanchez, who’s had a nightmare early, tripped on the play, giving up the chance.
22’ – Granados goes down under contact from Lee Eunmi, but it wasn’t particularly meaningful contact, with the referee agreeing and waving play on.
24’ – It’s non-stop offense at the moment, as Yoo targets a header at goal, but Diaz catches firmly. There are more goals to be had.
25’ – GOAL – South Korea (Jeon) – See what I mean? Hyeri goes on an underlapping run, with Kang giving it to the full-back. She crosses first-time, and it’s a fine one, with Jeon Gaeul darting in to whip a header across the face of goal. Fabulous team goal. Carol Sanchez was the defender beaten in the air. She’s been woeful thus far.
31’ – South Korean move breaks down, and Costa Rica counter the other way through Saenz. She plays a nice ball through to Granados, but she’s shouldered off the ball by Shim. Fans not pleased.
35’ – Carol Sanchez is just useless in the air, as she mistimes another header in the box off a chip from Cho. Ji looks to get on it, but Costa Rica hoof clear eventually.
43’ – Right off the training ground for South Korea, as Lee Eunmi runs over the ball before getting the short pass out wide. Lee tries to shoot from a really sharp angle, and it goes well wide.
44’ – Yoo sweeps Cruz’s legs out from under her. It’s probably Cruz’s biggest contribution in a rather silent half. South Korea clears from the scrum in the box on the delivery.
45’ + 1’ – Well, there’s another contribution. Cruz gets fouled, gets up and lightly shoves the miscreant. It’s all much ado about nothing, and the teams go into the tunnel for the half.
HT – An exciting, if not a bit chaotic half of football, as both sides are plowing forward with abandon. The defending hasn’t been that impressive for either side, but neither of these teams really has a true superstar #9 to take advantage. More of the same in the second half, please, including another goal or two.