Women’s nat’l football team to compete at Algarve Cup in Portugal

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SEOUL, Jan. 30 (Yonhap) — The South Korea women’s national football team will compete at an international tournament in Portugal in March to fine-tune their preparations for Asia’s top competition the following month, the national football governing body said Tuesday.

The Korea Football Association (KFA) said South Korea will participate in the Algarve Cup to be held between Feb. 28 and March 7. Twelve teams will be divided into three groups in a round-robin competition and will later play placement matches based on their points.

South Korea, ranked 14th in the latest FIFA rankings, is in Group B, along with fifth-ranked Canada, 10th-ranked Sweden and 25th-ranked Russia.

The Taeguk Ladies will open the tournament against Russia at Albufeira Municipal Stadium on Feb. 28 and will face Sweden at Bela Vista Municipal Stadium on March 2. They’ll wrap up the group stage against Canada at Albufeira Municipal Stadium on March 5.

Group A features Australia, China, Norway and Portugal, while Group C is comprised of Denmark, Iceland, Japan and the Netherlands.

This is the first time that South Korea will compete at the Algarve Cup, which was inaugurated in 1994. Since 2011, South Korea had taken part in the Cyprus Cup during this time of the year.

For South Korea, the invitational tournament in Portugal will be a tune up for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Women’s Cup, which will take place in Jordan in April. South Korea is in the same group with Australia, Japan and Vietnam.

The KFA said the women’s team, led by head coach Yoon Duk-yeo, will start their training late next month at the National Football Center in Paju, north of Seoul. The KFA said that, since the Algrave Cup falls on FIFA’s international match calendar, those who are with foreign clubs, such as Ji So-yun of Chelsea Ladies, will be able to play for the national team.

This file photo taken on Dec. 15, 2017, shows South Korea women's national football team players posing for a photo ahead of their EAFF E-1 Football Championship match against China at Soga Sports Park in Chiba, Japan. (Yonhap) This file photo taken on Dec. 15, 2017, shows South Korea women’s national football team players posing for a photo ahead of their EAFF E-1 Football Championship match against China at Soga Sports Park in Chiba, Japan. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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