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Forward still distraught over missed penalty in women's Olympic football qualifier

All Headlines 15:50 March 10, 2016

SEOUL, March 10 (Yonhap) -- With South Korea having missed out on the Olympic women's football tournament, the country's all-time leading scorer said Thursday she was still distraught over her botched penalty.

Ji So-yun and the rest of the women's squad returned home from Osaka, Japan, after completing an unsuccessful Asian qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics. South Korea needed to finish in the top two in the six-nation competition, but ended in fourth with one win, two draws and two losses.

South Korea held favored North Korea to a 1-1 draw to open the event. And they were locked in a scoreless duel against the world No. 4 Japan when Ji, leading all South Koreans with 39 international goals, stepped up for a penalty in the 68th.

Ji was denied by goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto, however, and the two sides ended in a 1-1 draw.

Speaking to reporters at Gimpo International Airport, Ji said the play remained fresh in her head and it will likely be there for some time.

"I knew just how difficult it was to qualify for the Olympics, and I was quite the nervous wreck as I was ready to take the kick," she said. "I still wonder what would have happened if I'd let someone else take the penalty."

South Korea have never competed in Olympic women's football, first contested in 1996. The 25-year-old said some self-doubts have crept in.

"I keep asking myself if I will don the national team uniform at the next Olympic qualifying tournament," she said. "I wonder if I will be able to help the country make the Olympics."

Head coach Yoon Duk-yeo said it was "a vastly disappointing event" for his team, and he will try to make the team better in future competitions.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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