A strong goalkeeping performance from Korea’s Young Hui Moon ensured both sides came out of this game with a point here in London.
It was a game of cat and mouse in front of an enthusiastic crowd, as both sides tried their level best to settle into their rhythm and exert their patterns on the match.
Argentina made a lot of the early running, launching a series of threatening attacks that were well dealt with by the Koreans’ outstanding one-on-one defensive work.
Korea created chances too and were unlucky to see two efforts scrambled off the line with goalkeeper Laura Del Colle beaten.
Argentina continued to hunt for a breakthrough, but found Moon in inspired form as the 28-year-old goalkeeper pulled off a string of outstanding saves to keep the scores level. Moon seemed to have shrugged off her error during Korea’s opening match against hosts, Great Britain and was this game’s outstanding player.
Argentina worked hard, but were fast running out of ideas against the strong and disciplined Koreans. Many onlookers would surely have been speculating as to whether the inclusion of Luciana Aymar would have made a difference for Las Leonas in this game. The 34-year-old, who has over 300 caps, will surely bring an added dimension to the side when she returns for the Olympics themselves. However, in this game, her absence was telling.
Moon put a gloss on her personal performance, as she pushed out a penalty stroke from Silvinia D’Elia much to the disbelief of the now absorbed crowd. Mere moments later, Carla Rebecchi sent a reverse stick shot fizzing wide after she had made a strong run forwards on her own.
There was still time for Korea to almost snatch a win as Del Colle, diving to her right, spectacularly saved Jong Eun Kim’s drag flick.
Honours ended even, which on balance was about right. Argentina probably created the better chances, but Korea deserve great credit for an outstanding defensive display.
Argentina move on to their next challenge as they face unbeaten hosts Great Britain on Saturday. Korea will be looking to break their scoring duck as they take on China.