21 Feb Match Report: Belgium 2-1 Korea Republic
Goals from Tessa Wullaert and Tine De Caigny saw Belgium come from behind to seal a 2-1 victory over Korea Republic at Coventry Building Society Arena and set up a winner takes all game with England to decide the winner of the Arnold Clark Cup.
After a competitive start, the Koreans took the lead when an effort from Lee Geum-Min took a deflection and fooled Belgian keeper Diede Lemey before rolling into the bottom corner to send the vocal Korean support into scenes of pandemonium.
From there, the Red Flames went on a mission to recover from the setback, the best chance coming on 38 minutes when Valesca Ampoorter hit a powerful effort at close range that had the beating of Kim Jung-Mi, but it would ultimately rattle the crossbar and lead to a frenzy before the ball was recovered by the Korean keeper.
Belgium finally got their equaliser in added time of the first half when star player Wullaert struck the ball from outside the box, with her effort taking a deflection off of Lim Seon-Joo that lofted the ball into the air and over Kim before landing in the net, levelling the scores at a crucial time.
Jang Chang nearly restored Korea’s lead immediately after as she had an audacious effort that struck the crossbar, but her failure to convert meant the teams went in level and both with a point to prove after the break.
From the start of the second half, the flow of the game was largely in favour of the Red Flames, with Wullaert proving particularly influential, including almost doubling her account on 63 minutes after a shot from miles out rattled the underside of the bar and bounced in true Frank Lampard fashion, though unlike that moment, this one was definitely not over the line.
It wouldn’t be long before the Belgians finally took the lead on 67 minutes after a corner from Wullaert landed in the box and was caught in a crowd of players before being tapped past Kim by De Caigny to give Ives Serneels’ side the advantage.
The game lacked clear-cut chances after this, with Belgium holding out amidst several periods of Korean pressure to take the three points and ensure that their game against England at Ashton Gate will decide the whole tournament.
Meanwhile and despite a hearty performance, Korea’s hopes of winning the tournament were ultimately dashed, making their game against Italy basically meaningless from a competition standpoint.