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  • Writer's pictureMykala Ranger

The Ones Working for More: Group H Preview

Germany is looking to avenge their 2022 Euros Final loss by adding their first star in 16 years. Colombia and Korea Republic both will be looking to make it out of the group stage while debutante Morocco is trying to continue to make history in their country.


Germany

Two-time World Cup Champions Germany are seeking a historic third title this summer in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Coming off of a devastating defeat in the 2022 UEFA Women’s Euro, eight-time European champions Germany fell to England 2-1 but aim to reclaim international glory on the World Cup stage. German head coach Martina Voss-Tecklenberg leads a star-studded squad of seasoned veterans and young starlets captained by Alexandra Popp. Lina Magull, Sara Däbritz, and Melanie Leupolz comprise just some of the experienced veteran quality at the heart of the team. Up-and-coming youth such as Klara Bühl, Jule Brand, and Nicole Anyomi infuse a spark within the team and are sure to shine on the world stage.


Player to Watch:

Lena Oberdorf

Largely considered one of the best young players not just for Germany, but in global football Lena Oberdorf is a talent worth watching. As a stalwart center-defensive midfielder Oberdorf is an extremely well-rounded player in terms of defense, offense, and possession play at the core of Germany’s tactical structure.

Lena Oberdorf in pre-World Cup friendly with Germany. Photo courtesy off @lena_oberdorf /Instagram


Morocco

FIFA Women’s World Cup debutants Morocco have an opportunity to showcase their talent on the biggest stage in football later this summer. An infusion of funding from the Moroccan Football Association (FRMF) is proving to be a worthwhile investment as Morocco reaches new heights. In the 2022 CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Morocco showed that they are a force to be reckoned with as they made it all the way to the final unbeaten until faced with South Africa. Former French footballer Reynald Pedros is the current head coach as of 2021. Morocco is led by their captain and all-time top-scorer Ghizlane Chebbak. Blazing stars such as Salma Amani and Sakina Ouzraoui lead the Moroccan attack and their defense is anchored by players such as Nouhalia Benzina and Sabah Seghir.


Player to Watch:

Rosella Ayane

Tenacious attacker and target finisher Rosella Ayane could become a key piece in Morocco’s success in the upcoming tournament. Always ready to pounce on the heels of the opposition’s backline, Ayane poses a threat with individual brilliance and link-up play with her surrounding teammates.

Rosella Ayane after scoring a goal for Morocco. Photo courtesy of @rosella_ayane /Instagram

Colombia

Qualifying for their first World Cup since 2015, Colombia is building momentum as they continue to represent stardom in South American football. Colombia secured qualification as runners-up in the 2022 CONMEBOL Copa América Feminina with a display that showed they are hungry for international success. Head coach Nelson Abadía has been with the Colombian national team since 2017 through victories such as the 2019 Pan American Champions and now looks ahead to Colombia’s third attempt at World Cup glory. Daniela Montoya captains Colombia and is a leading voice for the team on and off the field. All-time top-scorer and the most capped player Catalina Usme leads the Colombian attack alongside teammates such as Leicy Santos and Tatiana Ariza. Carolina Arias and Nancy Viviana Acosta Nuñez add versatility in defense for Colombia’s shifting low block.



Player to Watch:

Linda Caicedo

One of the brightest young stars at the forefront of Colombia’s success is forward Linda Caicedo. Known for her exceptionally dazzling finishes and ball control to get past quality defenders, Caicedo is a prodigious Colombian player bursting onto the scene.

Linda Caicedo in game for Colombia. Photo courtesy of @linda__caicedo11 /Instagram

Korea Republic

The fourth time may be the charm for the Korea Republic as they aim to rewrite past World Cup disappointment in a new era. Technical quality has been a core tenet of Korea’s style, and in recent times a push in intensity has fostered growth and positive results. Korea Republic finished runners-up in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, their highest finish in tournament history, and secured a 5-2 victory over Zambia in an international friendly on April 7, 2023. Former English footballer Colin Bell took over as head coach in 2019 aiming to bring his previous successes from the club level to Korea. Kim Hye-ri leads the Korean team as captain and an integral defender. Korea has an array of attacking talent such as their all-time leading goalscorer Ji So-yun, forward Park Eun-sun, and midfielder Lee Geum-min. On the defensive side, Korea relies on players like Lim Seon-ju and Hong Hi-jye to provide stability within flexible formations.

Player to Watch:

Cho So-hyun

Cho So-hyun is one of Korea’s finest and most capped players with the quality to have an influence on the pitch and experience to warrant leadership. As a crafty playmaker or poaching finisher, So-hyun is fearless in the pursuit of a victory for Korea and elicits a spark in the attack from all over the pitch.

Cho So-hyun for Korea Republic. Photo courtesy of @Cho8Sohyun /Twitter

GROUP SCHEDULE


Mon, Jul 24

Germany vs Morocco

⏰ 4:30 AM

🏟 AAMI Park

📍 Melbourne, Aus

📺 FS1


Mon, Jul 24

Colombia vs Korea Republic

⏰ 10:00 PM

🏟 Sydney Football Stadium

📍 Sydney, Aus

📺 FS1


Sun, Jul 30

Korea Republic vs Morocco

⏰ 12:30 AM

🏟 Hindmarsh Stadium

📍 Adelaide, Aus

📺 FOX


Sun, Jul 30

Germany vs Colombia

⏰ 8:30 AM

🏟 Eden Park

📍 Auckland, Aus

📺 FS1


Thu, Aug 03

Morocco vs Colombia

⏰ 6:00 AM

🏟 Perth Rectangular Stadium

📍 Perth, Aus

📺 FS1


Wed, Aug 02

Korea Republic vs Germany

⏰ 6:00 AM

🏟 Lang Park

📍 Brisbane, Aus

📺 FOX

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