Singapore Women’s Football Team Debuts At Asian Games With 0-7 Loss To North Korea
The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China officially kicked off on Saturday (23 Sep), with Singapore getting off to a promising start with a bronze medal in women’s changquan.
However, it was a different story for our women’s football team, who suffered a 0-7 loss to North Korea yesterday (24 Sep).
By half-time, North Korea had gotten off to a strong start with two goals scored.
In the second half, the winning team strengthened its lead with five more goals, all from different players.
North Korea scored first goal 10 minutes into Asian Games football match
The Singapore women’s national football team debuted at the 19th Asian Games with a match against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Seconds after the 10-minute point, Hong Songok delivered the first goal for her country.
Less than three minutes later, Ri Kumhyang scored a second.
After half-time, Myong Yujong stretched her team’s lead to 3-0 just five minutes in.
At the 53-minute mark, Ju Hyosim sent the ball flying into her opponents’ net for the fourth time.
Ri Hak and Kim Kyongyong scored the fifth and sixth goals 58 and 61 minutes respectively into the match.
Finally, Sung Hyangsim delivered the final goal of the match in stoppage time.
For context, stoppage time is extra time added to either half of a football match to make up for time lost over things like injuries or substitution of a player.
Singapore football team’s loss could be due to key players’ absence
Despite the match being the Singapore women’s national football team’s first Asian Games outing, the loss could have been attributed to several key players missing from the lineup.
One of them is key attacker Nur Izzati Rosni.
She is perhaps best known for scoring the winning goal in Singapore’s victory over Laos at the 2022 SEA Games.
She withdrew from the squad after the SEA Games earlier this year, citing wanting to focus on improving her mental well-being as a factor.
According to The Straits Times (ST), she also implied that she did not feel “safe and supported” due to the lack of a positive environment in her team.
Meanwhile, former captain Ernie Sontaril was dropped from the squad and seemed to echo Izzati’s sentiments.
While she agreed that fitness, technique, and tactics matter in football, she pointed out that these can only come into play if there is “trust and understanding in a safe environment”.
Forward Lila Tan had also withdrawn from the squad prior to the Asian Games to pursue her studies overseas and honour other commitments.
Singapore due to face North Korea again on 27 Sep
Despite the monumental defeat, Singapore has the opportunity for a redo of sorts when it faces off against North Korea again this Wednesday (27 Sep).
The match was supposed to take place between Singapore and Cambodia.
However, Cambodia’s team pulled out, leaving Singapore to go up against North Korea two times in a row.
While the loss is humbling, the national women’s football team still deserves kudos for giving it their all.
Best of luck to all the players this Wednesday — we are behind you, every step of the way.
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