In the opening match of Women’s Hockey Asia Cup 2013, Korea will be locking horns with Kazakhstan in the Hoki Nasional Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Korea and Kazakhstan have been placed in Pool-B with two other teams namely Japan and Chinese-Taipei whereas Pool-A consists of teams like India, China, Hong Kong China and the hosts Malaysia.
According to FIH World rankings, Korea is ranked 8th in the world whereas Kazakhstan is at 32nd position. As far as the rankings are concerned, the match looks easy for Korea but the team won’t be leaving any stone upturned to seal victory in the inaugural match of this tournament.
The Korean women’s hockey team has 3 Asia cup titles to their credit and the team finished at the 3rd position in the last edition of this tournament held in Bangkok, Thailand. The team was the runner-up in the 2007 edition of Asia cup where they lost to Japan 7-6 in the penalty strokes.
On the other hand, the 32nd position holders, Kazakhstan, have never managed to secure a place even in the top-4 of this tournament.
The Korean challenge will be led by Han Hye-Lyoung and the responsibility of goal-keeping will be on the shoulders of Sin Hye Lee.The other players of the Korean team will be picked from these 15 members list –
Da Rae Kim, Eun Bi Cheon, Eun Ji Cho, Hyo Ju Ahn, Ji Seon Hong, Jong Eun Kim, Ki Ju Park, Mi Hyun Park, Ok Ju Kim, Se Na Cha, Seul Ki Cheon, Seung A Park, Sun Soon Oh, Young Sil Lee, and Yu Mi Jeon.
On the other hand, the player to watch out for Kazakhstan will be their goalkeeper – So Ra Bae. Previously, in a friendly match played between Malaysia and Japan, Japan defeated the host Malaysia by 2-1. The match was played on 17th September 2013 in Bukit Jalil Stadium.