South Korea survive late charge to draw with England

Wednesday 06 Aug 2014
England's Martha Harris (centre) is mobbed by her team-mates after her equaliser

England opened their FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup campaign with a 1-1 draw against South Korea.

The Asian champions took the lead through a 15th-minute penalty after Aoife Mannion was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

But the impressive Martha Harris crashed home a deserved equaliser on 68.

England 1-1 South Korea

FIFA Women's U20 World Cup
Group C
Wednesday 6 August 2014
Moncton Stadium, Canada

Beth Mead had two good chances to win it late, while Katie Zelem and Nikita Parris both hit the crossbar, but England go away with a deserved point and will now look to their second group game against Mexico on Saturday.

Captain Sherry McCue, who skippered England to the U19 Euro final last season, attempted to give her side a dream start but her long-range effort zipped narrowly wide of Yukyeong Min’s goal with barely two minutes on the clock.

Both teams enjoyed decent spells of possession without posing much of a threat in the final third and it seemed inevitable that the deadlock would be broken via a set piece. Unfortunately for England, it went against them.

Yuri Choe got in behind Leah Williamson down the right flank and centred for Geummin Lee. Williamson’s centre back partner Aoife Mannion was there to cover but Canadian referee Carol Anne Chenard believed the ball had hit the Birmingham defender on the arm and pointed to the penalty spot.

Sodam Lee made no mistake and planted the ball beyond Lizzie Durack in the bottom left corner.

Katie Zelem almost came up with an instant response when she met Harris’s right-sided cross, only to see her dinked effort bounce off the crossbar.

Sunderland striker Mead then lashed a shot wide following a quick free-kick from Parris as England searched for an equaliser. Parris herself came close to finding a leveller just minutes before the break when her angled shot from just inside the right-hand side of the box caused Min to get down smartly to push away.

South Korea’s back four towered above England’s front three and Songchon Jong’s side almost made that height advantage count midway through the first half when centre back Hyeyeong Kim headed Yeeun Park’s corner into the side netting.

Harris was also alert to the danger to put in a fantastic last-ditch tackle to deny Selgi Jang a clean strike at goal when the Korean was put clean through by Sodam Lee.

An uneventful start to the second half was punctured only by Zelem’s 30-yard free-kick which called Min into action and Jess Sigsworth’s effort from range which drifted just wide. And with open play yet again proving fruitless for either side, it was from another set piece that the second goal of the game was scored.

Zelem dinked a 68th-minute free-kick into the box and Min did well to parry the ball after it deflected off one of her defenders, but Liverpool right-back Harris stole in at the far post to smash home the equaliser.

This goal gave England the impetus and they suddenly looked energised. Korea had a goal ruled out for offside but England were in the ascendency until the end – and the two best chances fell to Mead.

First, she attempted to bend a right-footed effort into the far corner but the ball didn’t quite curl enough. And with just two minutes remaining Mead missed a glorious chance to grab all three points. She capitalised on a poor back pass from Hyein Ahn and bore down on goal. Perhaps she had too much time to think and was eventually foiled by Min.

And in injury time, Parris almost won it in added time with an audacious effort from well over 30 yards, but the ball smashed the top of the crossbar and England were left with a point from their World Cup opener.

England (4-3-3): 1 Lizzie Durack (Everton); 2 Martha Harris (Liverpool), 5 Aoife Mannion (Birmingham City), 20 Leah Williamson (Arsenal), 3 Hannah Blundell (Chelsea); 4 Sherry McCue (C; Aston Villa), 10 Katie Zelem (Liverpool), 8 Jess Sigsworth (Doncaster Rovers Belles); 7 Nikita Parris (Everton), 9 Beth Mead (Sunderland), 11 Mel Lawley (Birmingham City).

Substitutes: 19 Abbeyleigh Stringer (Birmingham City) for Sigsworth (82)

Substitutes not used: 6 Meaghan Sargeant (Birmingham City), 12 Paige Williams (Everton), 13 Megan Walsh (Everton), 14 Jade Bailey (Arsenal), 15 Ellie Stewart (Liverpool), 16 Gabrielle George (Everton), 17 Natasha Flint (Manchester City), 18 Jess Carter (Birmingham City), 21 Caitlin Leach (Aston Villa).

Head Coach: Mo Marley

Goals: Harris (68)

Bookings: McCue (71)

South Korea: 1 Yukyeong Min, 2 Hyein Ahn, 5 Subin Lee, 7 Selgi Jang (C), 8 Sodam Lee, 9 Yuri Choe, 10 Geummin Lee, 15 Yeeun Park, 16 Eunhye Ha, 17 Hyeyeong Kim, 20 Soyi Kim

Substitutes: 14 Hansol Jeon for Choe (68)

Substitutes not used: 3 Duri Kim, 4 Uri Kim, 6 Hyeji Hong, 11 Inji Kim, 12 Nara Lee, 13 Yeonhee Oh, , 18 Gaeun Yoo, 19 Yeji Namgung, 21 Eunah Oh

Head Coach: Songchon Jong

Goals: Sodam Lee (15), Park (78)

Bookings: Subin Lee (60)

Referee: Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)

By Glenn Lavery in Moncton, Canada