Heavy defeat in World Cup opener
IT was not the start that Zimbabwe’s Under-21 women’s hockey team would have hoped for in the 2023 International Hockey Federation Hockey Women’s Junior World Cup after they were humiliated by South Korea in their opening match in Santiago, Chile yesterday.
Zimbabwe suffered a heavy 6-0 defeat in their opening Group B encounter to kick-start their campaign in the worst possible manner. They were up against an experienced South Korean team which is ranked number seven in the world.
The Koreans managed to score a goal in all four quarters of the match to hand Zimbabwe a heavy loss in their first game. In the first half (quarter one and two), South Korea managed to go 2-0 up before coming in to score two goals apiece in the third and fourth quarters to round up their dominance on the turf.
This was the second meeting between the two nations and South Korea has been dominant in both games. The first encounter was in 1989 when the Asian nation thumped Zimbabwe 13-0.
Park Migyeong opened the scoring for South Korea in the ninth minute before Lee Seoyeon doubled their lead in the second quarter with 30 minutes on the clock.
Going into the half time break trailing 2-0, it became worse for Zimbabwe as An Sujin and Jeong Saena doubled South Korea’s lead in the 34th and 43rd minute respectively. The last two goals for South Korea came from Choi Nurim and Choi Jiyun. Nurim’s goal came after 55 minutes of play while Jiyun netted three minutes later after 58 minutes of play.
Both teams were disciplined in the turf, receiving one green warning card each throughout the duration of the match.
It was a learning curve for the Zimbabwean team which is ranked number 21 in the world and has limited international exposure.
The Brad Heuer coached Zimbabwean side will look to learn from their mistakes and go back to the drawing board ahead of their second match of the competition which is scheduled for tomorrow at Centro Deportivo de Hockey Césped, Estadio Nacional in Santiago, Chile.
They will be facing Spain. After the clash against Spain, Zimbabwe will go on to complete their group matches against Argentina on 4 December.