The South Korea women's national football team (Hangul: 대한민국 여자 축구 국가대표팀; Hanja: 大韓民國女子蹴球國家代表팀) represents South Korea in international women's football competitions. The team is referred to as the Korea Republic by FIFA. Its first game was a match against Japan in 1990, which it lost 13–1. Since then, it has qualified for two FIFA World Cups, in 2003 and 2015.
Less than a year after the government of the Republic of Korea was established in 1948, the first official women's football matches were held in Seoul on 28 and 29 June 1949, as a part of the National Girls' and Women's Sport Games. While women's basketball and volleyball won public recognition through the Games, football was seen as being unsuitable for women and as being unattractive to the public; as a result, the girls' teams were disbanded soon after the event.
When women's football was officially adopted at the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing, the South Korean sports authorities decided to form a women's team with athletes from other sports and send the team to the Games. The result was defeat in all matches against Japan, North Korea, China and Chinese Taipei. Nevertheless, colleges and corporations started to launch women's football teams through the 1990s and the first annual national women's football event, the Queen's Cup, was held in 1993. With these changes, South Korea was able to finish in fourth place at the 1995 AFC Women's Championship in Malaysia.
When the 1999 Women's World Cup sparked interest worldwide, the South Korean ministry in charge of sports sponsored the foundation of new teams and tournaments for girls’ high school teams, university teams and company teams. To promote women’s football, the Korea Women's Football Federation (KWFF) was established in March 2001, as an independent organization in association with the Korea Football Association (KFA).
2003–2013: First World Cup and a period of decline
South Korea finished in third place at the 2003 AFC Women's Championship and qualified for the World Cup for the first time. The Taegeuk Ladies were drawn in Group B with Norway, France and Brazil. Their first match played at the World Cup was a 3–0 loss to Brazil on 21 September 2003. They went on to lose 1–0 to France and 7–1 to Norway. Kim Jin-hee scored the first ever South Korean World Cup goal on 27 September 2003 against Norway.
South Korea finished in fourth place at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup and qualified for the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, where they made it out of the group stage for the first time. They were drawn in Group E with Brazil, Spain and Costa Rica. South Korea lost 2–0 to Brazil on 9 June 2015, but a 2–2 draw with Costa Rica on 13 June and a 2–1 victory against Spain on 17 June were enough to progress for the first time ever at a World Cup. They went on to lose 3–0 to France in the round of 16 on 21 June 2015.
^Manzenreiter, Wolfram; Horne, John (14 August 2008). "Playing the Post‐Fordist Game in/to the Far East: The Footballisation of China, Japan and South Korea". Soccer & Society. 8 (4): 561–577. doi:10.1080/14660970701440899. ISSN1466-0970.