Join us on this journey as we dish out the inside scoop on each squad's strengths, weaknesses, players to keep an eye on and what a pass mark might be for each nation.
We have reached our final snapshot, ladies and gentleman - South Korea.
FIFA Women's World Cup Appearances: 3 (2003,2015,2019)
Best performance at a FIFA Women's World Cup: Round of 16 (2015)
Players to Watch
South Korea boasts a wealth of talent in their national team, arguably none more so than former Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun. Currently playing in the WK League back home, Ji is a living legend in South Korean football, holding 144 caps and a record of 66 goals for the national team.
With experience from two previous World Cups, Ji will provide invaluable guidance as South Korea aims to substantially impact the competition in Australia and New Zealand.
Ji’s long-standing partner in football excellence is Cho So-hyun. Together, they share the record for the most caps in South Korea's history. Cho, a versatile midfielder capable of playing anywhere through the middle, represents Tottenham Hotspur in the FA WSL.
Possessing a profound understanding of tactics, Cho can dismantle defences with her expansive range of passes and will be crucial to the build-up play if South Korea hopes to excel in the tournament.
The team's standout player is Lee Geum-min. The 29-year-old is registered with Manchester City but is currently on loan at fellow FA WSL team Brighton and Hove Albion. Lee is experiencing a career resurgence at The Seagulls, having initially struggled for game time in England with Manchester City.
With 80 appearances and 27 goals for the Taegeuk Ladies, Lee will be instrumental if her country hopes to achieve unprecedented success at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
South Korea has had a challenging 2023 so far. Apart from two resounding friendly victories over Zambia (5-2 & 5-0), it has been a tough year for the Tigers of Asia (아시아의 호랑이).
They started the year with a disappointing performance in the 2023 Arnold Clark Cup, enduring defeats to England, Belgium, and Germany. The 4-0 loss to England was particularly bruising. However, in their matches against Belgium (1-2) and Italy (1-2), they demonstrated resilience, taking an early lead against Belgium, and succumbing to a 95th-minute equalizer against Italy.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Strengths: Experience. This South Korean team is closely-knit and has been playing together for a significant period. Leveraging this in their opening fixture against Colombia could be the deciding factor between advancing to the knockout phase and an early departure.
Weaknesses: A majority of the South Korean women’s team play domestically, which could leave them unprepared when they face more highly-rated opponents.
Ranked in FIFA’s top 20, South Korea showcases some exceptional talent. The bare minimum expectation for Colin Bell’s squad is to reach the round of 16. Anything short of this will likely signal the end of the popular national team coach's tenure.