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S. Korea to host New Zealand twice in Nov. in women's football friendlies

09:33 November 04, 2021

By Yoo Jee-ho

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will host New Zealand twice this month in women's football friendly matches in preparation for an upcoming continental tournament, the sport's national governing body announced Thursday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said South Korea will play New Zealand at 2 p.m. on Nov. 27 and again at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30. Both matches will be played at Goyang Stadium in Goyang, just northwest of Seoul in Gyeonggi Province.

In this USA Today Sports photo via Reuters from Oct. 26, 2021, Ji So-yun of South Korea (front) keeps the ball away from Emily Sonnett of the United States during a friendly football match at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Yonhap)

These will be the first women's football international friendlies in South Korea since April 2019.

Coached by Colin Bell, South Korea are gearing up for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup next January in India. South Korea will face two-time defending champions Japan, along with Vietnam and Myanmar, in Group C.

There are three groups of four in the tournament, which will run from Jan. 20 to Feb. 6 in India. The top two teams from each group, plus the two-best third-place teams, will advance to the quarterfinals.

The top five nations at the Women's Asian Cup will qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup, while two more teams will end up in the intercontinental playoffs.

New Zealand, which will co-host the 2023 Women's World Cup with Australia, are ranked 23rd in the world, five spots below South Korea.

In this USA Today Sports photo via Reuters from Oct. 21, 2021, Lee Geum-min of South Korea (C) and Lindsey Horan of the United States battle for the ball during a friendly football match at Children's Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas. (Yonhap)

South Korea have had five wins, five draws and one loss against New Zealand. Their most recent meeting ended in a 2-0 South Korean victory in March 2019 in a four-nation friendly tournament in Australia.

South Korea played world No. 1 United States in back-to-back friendlies last month, managing a scoreless draw first and then getting pounded 6-0.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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