“My goal for the Hangzhou Asian Games is gold!”
‘Women’s soccer star’ Lee Min-ah, 31, of Incheon Hyundai Steel, is determined to win gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games after returning from injury.
Lee tore her ACL during a training session last December and missed the 2023 Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. After following her teammates’ performances as an SBS commentator, Lee was reinstated to the national team ahead of the Asian Games. “The deadline for submitting the Asian Games roster to the organizers was in mid-July, but I had absolute faith that she would be fully recovered by the end of September, so I put her on the roster ahead of time,” said Women’s National Team Head Coach Colleen Bell. “As soon as he saw me, he said in Korean, ‘Are you ready?'” Lee smiled. “I’m honored and happy to be back on the national team. I will treat the Asian Games like the World Cup,” she said.
Lee Min-ah is currently the only “married woman” on the women’s national soccer team. Lee Min-ah, who has been loved by fans for her cute looks and clever soccer skills, made headlines in December 2021 when she married Lee Woo-hyuk, a former player of Gyeongnam FC (now Pyeongchang United). Married women and moms are nothing new in the Women’s World Cup scene, but they’re still a rarity in South Korea. Lee Min-ah is the second married woman to play for South Korea after “mom center back” Hwang Boram at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France. “People see me as a married woman, but I’m pretending to be single,” Lee laughed. “There are a lot of young juniors in this call-up,” she said, emphasizing that soccer should always be played with the mindset of the first time.
“The World Cup is a stage for the best players in the world, and we were physically prepared, but we weren’t ‘energizers,'” Lee said of the Women’s World Cup last summer, which she watched as a commentator. “The process of winning and losing the ball took a lot of energy. When asked about his impressions of the World Cup so far, he mentioned “playing to your strengths” and the “hope” he found in Japan. Japan won three games in the group stage, including a 4-0 victory over eventual champions Spain, and reached the quarterfinals with an impressive performance against the big boys. Lee Min-ah said, “Japan is physically weaker than us, but they did what they do best against Spain and others. “We used to struggle against them 10 years ago, but the gap has been shrinking, so I think we can do well like them,” said Lee Min-ah, adding, “I hope we can create more scenes like Japan’s where we can perfectly counterattack from the back.
At the Women’s World Cup, South Korea lost two straight games against Colombia and Morocco and drew 1-1 with top-ranked Germany. After their round of 16 exit, fans criticized the team for playing “Colin Bell soccer. “It’s a difficult question, but it’s not a difficult question for me,” Lee Min-ah said when asked. “The fans’ expectations were high because Coach Bell came to Korea and we were runners-up at the Asian Cup last year and did well in the A-match,” she said, adding, 바카라 “The players should follow the coach without any doubt.” When asked about her goals for the Asian Games, Lee Min-ah said without hesitation, “Gold.