SPOKANE, Wash. –
After giving up an early goal to Mali in the third minute of its CISM World Military Women’s Soccer Championship matchup with the West African nation Thursday night, the Republic of South Korea ignited its offense in the final seconds of the first half.
ROK Army Staff Sgt. Dakyeong Choi scored the equalizer seconds before the first half stoppage time ended, giving South Korea (2-0) much needed momentum heading into the second half.
With the sun to their backs, the South Koreans erupted for three more goals and the 4-1 victory over Mali (0-1).
After teammate Oumou Kone scored off a tipped kick in the third minute to take an early lead, Mali goalkeeper Fatoumata Karentao withstood a wave of South Korean attacks and made numerous athletic plays. She snagged a free kick by South Korea’s Minjin Kim, and then in the 14th minute, stopped a one-on-one breakaway and then halted another in the 32nd minute.
Mali suffered a scare when Karentao took a blow to the head on a header attempt by South Korea midway through the second half.
South Korea outshot Mali 7-1 in the first half but trailed 0-1 until the final seconds of stoppage time until Choi’s goal.
But Karentao could not slow the South Korean attack in the second half. South Korea scored a lucky goal after a corner kick from ROK Sgt. 1st Class Sangme Ahn deflected into the net off the head of a Mali player.
Ahn scored another South Korean goal in the 57th minute after taking a crossing pass and scoring off her left foot to make the score 3-1.
Finally, ROK Staff Sgt. Min Soo Kim netted a goal in the 79th minute. South Korea outshot the Malians 14-3 for the game.
Both teams will play on Saturday. Mali takes on France at 3:30 p.m. while South Korea faces the Netherlands.