South Korea vs. North Korea for place in Olympic women's football tournament!

Jane Lee , Oct. 18, 2019, 9:25 a.m.


The women's national football teams of South Korea and North Korea will square off south of the border with a place in the 2020 Olympics at stake. The Koreas were placed in Group A, along with Vietnam and Myanmar, in the third round of the Asian qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, following a draw held at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) House in Kuala Lumpur Friday. The South Korean island of Jeju will host the third round matches from Feb. 3-9, 2020. 

There are eight nations in the third round. The four remaining teams -- Australia, China, Thailand and Chinese Taipei -- were drawn into Group B and will play their matches in a yet-to-be-determined city in China. The top two teams from each group will move on to the final round scheduled for March, and the top two from there will qualify for the Olympics. Women's football joined the Olympic program in 1996 and South Korea, dubbed the "Taeguk Ladies," have never played at the quadrennial event. North Korea are the top-ranked team in Group A at No. 9, followed by South Korea (20th), Vietnam (34th) and Myanmar (45th).

Unlike the men's Olympic tournament, which is limited to players under-23 except for a maximum three overage players permitted per nation, the women's Olympic football competition is open to all senior players. In 19 inter-Korean meetings, South Korea have won just one match, with three draws and 15 losses. North Korea played at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, getting sent home in group stage each time. South Korea have won all 10 meetings against Vietnam and all five matches against Myanmar.

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