|May 1st, 2008|
|10||Round-Robin||12:30pm||KOR - IRL||5 - 1 (3 - 1)||Final|
The first game of the day started with a freezing wind blowing across the field, however the atmosphere was kept very warm by a large Korean contingent beating relentlessly on drums. Korea had a few early chances but Ireland reacted boldly, forcing the first penalty-corner of the match. Nikki SYMMONS slotted her drag flick low out of reach of Ju Young LIM in net, scoring the first goal against the Korean in this competition.
The Korean reaction was immediate and Mi Seon KIM received the ball in a crowded circle but still managed to fire a powerful reverse stick shot to beat Louisa HEALY and tie the score. The game turned into a wide open affair, switching quickly from one end to the other. Korea took the lead in the 21st minute, when Hye Jin SEO managed to push over the line a ball bouncing in front of the keeper after a deflection. They kept attacking relentlessly and added a third goal on penalty-corner to reach the break with a comfortable lead despite their initial scare.
The pace slowed in the second half, with Korea containing the Irish attacks and taking every opportunity to take the danger to the other side. It nevertheless took them another penalty-corner to increase their tally, Hye Jin SEO slotting the rebound high over the keeper who made the initial save. With the final result not in doubt any more, the Irish defense let down its guard and conceded another goal by Mi Young EOM after a superb attacking move that went the whole length of the field.
Korea are now mathematically qualified for the Final and have made a powerful demonstration of their potential against a team that could again be their opponent on Sunday. Ireland have boldly taken their chances against a higher ranked team, scoring the only goal against the seasoned Korean defense, but they seemed short on options later in the game.