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Colombia a must-win, Bell’s tactics against group opponents

Women’s National Team head coach Colleen Bell’s ‘ever-changing’ tactics will be put to the test.

The Socceroos open Group H of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand on Sept. 25 against Colombia. They will then face Morocco on Nov. 30 and Germany on Nov. 3.

South Korea made an early exit from the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France after losing three games in three days, so the hunger for this tournament will be even greater.

The importance of the first game cannot be overstated. The strongest team in Group H is Germany (2nd). Assuming they take down Morocco (72nd), the weakest team in the group, they will likely face Colombia for a ticket to the round of 16. Colombia is ranked 25th in the FIFA rankings, lower than South Korea (17th), so the Colombia game is actually a watershed moment in the round of 16.

Bell’s team basically plays an active style of soccer, with strong forward pressure when defending and forward passing when in possession. Against stronger teams, where a steady defense is a must, he will use a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 backline, and against more aggressive opponents, a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 backline. However, he is not limited to one formation. He has demonstrated his flexibility in tactical changes during his trials against international teams.

In April against Zambia, Bell dropped Choo Hyo-joo to defense and brought on Chun Garam when then-starting defender Lim Seon-joo was ruled out with an injury. Choo’s primary position is as a flanker, but he was moved to right fullback to help solve the game. In the second half, Jang Seul-ki, who had been playing in the midfield, moved to the left fullback position to form a back four, unlike the first half, which had three center backs.

The flexible tactical changes continued at the departure ceremony. The first half against Haiti didn’t go well. Coach Bell moved Choo Hyo-joo, who had been playing as a right back, to defensive midfield to mark the opposing ace. He then moved Kim Hye-ri to the right flank and changed the formation to a four-back.

The players didn’t seem to be too shaken by Bell’s changes. They have been able to carry out the coach’s instructions without much difficulty, while sticking to the basic principles of the game.

After the Zambia game, Bell said, “One of our strengths is that we are flexible (in terms of changing formations). But we prioritize the principles of play over the formation. Whatever formation we choose, we know that the principles of play are important, and the players understand and fulfill their roles.” 스포츠토토

On the World Cup stage, you never know what will happen, both on and off the field, and being able to react to those variables can be the difference between making it to the round of 16. This is where Bell’s “flexibility” comes in.

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