Colombia secures a 2-0 victory in the World Cup opener, capitalising on South Korea’s mistakes.
Colombia started their “2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup” campaign with a perfect win against South Korea in Sydney. Catalina Usme scored from the penalty spot to put the South Americans ahead, and 18-year-old Linda Caicedo doubled the lead with an error from the Korean goalkeeper, Yoon Young-geul. This victory marked Colombia’s second-ever win in the tournament.
For South Korea, history was made as Casey Phair became the youngest-ever player at a Women’s World Cup, coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute. Unfortunately, South Korea has lost all four of their Women’s World Cup opening matches and faces a must-win “Group H” match against Morocco on July 30, while Colombia will play against Germany.
Though Colombia could have hosted the 2023 tournament, they narrowly lost the bid to Australia and New Zealand. Despite not playing at home, Colombia was well supported by their passionate fans, who made up the majority of the crowd at “Sydney Football Stadium”.
South Korea’s defensive errors handed Colombia a two-goal lead in the first half. A handball by Shim Seo-yeon resulted in a penalty, which Usme calmly converted. Caicedo then added to the lead with a shot that should have been saved by the Korean goalkeeper, Yoon, but slipped through her gloves and into the net.
Despite the defeat, Caicedo’s display showcased her talent and potential. At only 18 years old, she is considered one of the most promising young stars of the tournament and became the second-youngest player to score at a Women’s World Cup, following Brazil’s Marta, who achieved this feat at the age of 17 in 2003.
Colombia’s victory puts them in a strong position to qualify from Group H, tying them on points with favourite Germany. They will aim to continue their impressive performance and advance further in the tournament.