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Colin Bellho, who was one step short, needs to resolve his lack

Korean women's soccer, which had crossed the world stage beyond Asia, ended 2023 due to a lack of motivation.

The Korean women's soccer team, led by coach Colin Bell (62), returned to Korea through Incheon Airport on the 2nd. The goal of returning with a ticket to the Olympic finals for the first time in history was not achieved.

Korea drew 1-1 with China in the final match of Group B of the 2024 Paris Olympics women's soccer second qualifying round held at Xiamen Egrat Stadium in Fujian Province, China on the 1st. They took the lead with Shim Seo-yeon (Suwon FC Women)'s first goal in the 17th minute of the second half, but gave up an equalizer in the 33rd minute of the second half, falling to second place in Group B (1 win, 2 draws) and failing to advance to the finals.

In the second round of the Paris Olympics, where 12 teams are divided into three groups and play in the group stage, the team with the best performance among the first and second place in each group can advance to the semifinals in February next year, and Korea is ranked second in Group A by the Philippines ( lost 2 wins and 1 loss). This is the moment when all farming in the Bell system, now in its 4th year, has ended in failure.

Coach Bell took office as the first foreign head coach of the Korean women's soccer team in 2019 and enjoyed success. Despite the difficulties of COVID-19, she received favorable reviews for her performance of finishing second in the Women's Asian Cup last year.

In return, she signed a new contract and announced that she would perform well in three competitions this year, including the Women's World Cup, the Hangzhou Asian Games, and the Paris Olympics.

However, Coach Bell failed to live up to those expectations this year. In the Women's World Cup, which was their first challenge and the biggest feast, their elimination was confirmed early on as they lost to both Colombia (0-2) and Morocco (0-1), who were expected to win the match.

At the Hangzhou Asian Games, where they were aiming for their first ever championship, they were also defeated 1-4 by North Korea in the quarterfinals. Of course, this game had problems with unclear decisions, but the national team's performance was also not satisfactory.

The disappointment was even greater as they were eliminated from the Olympics, which was their last hope, without a single loss. In particular, it is regrettable that, as in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics preliminaries, the repeated loss of victory at the last minute was repeated. At that time, their opponent was China, and they were eliminated in the second game of the final preliminary round after leading 2-0 but drawing 2-2. Given that China was the opponent in the Asian Cup finals where they went from leading 2-0 to losing 2-3, the lack of support became an urgent task to resolve.

Coach Bell, who pointed out the weak points of Korean soccer in public, is also expected to calmly begin preparations for next year. Coach Bell's contract expires in December 2024.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

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