BEIJING -- South Korea lost to the United States 8-6 in the women's curling tournament at Beijing 2022 on Monday, as its hopes of reaching the semifinals faded further with the second straight loss.
This was the first of two games scheduled Monday for South Korea, the 2018 silver medalist that dropped to 2-3 in Beijing. It will face Japan at 8:05 p.m. (local time), or 9:05 p.m. in Seoul, back at the National Aquatics Centre.
Japan defeated China 10-2 in its Monday morning session to improve to 4-1 for the tournament.
The 10 teams in the competition will each play nine round-robin games, and the top four will reach the semifinals.
Through Monday's morning action, South Korea was tied for sixth place with Canada at 2-3. Switzerland leads the way with a perfect 5-0 record, followed by Japan (4-1), the US (4-2), Britain (3-2) and Sweden (3-2).
South Korea and the US had a blank first end, and South Korea got the first point in the second end, thanks to skip Kim Eun-jung's draw with the hammer.
South Korea could have stolen a point in the third end after taking advantage of some early US miscues. But the American skip Tabitha Peterson landed her final stone safely inside the house, just a tiny bit closer to the button than the closest South Korean rock, for the game-tying point.
South Korea went up 2-1 with a point in the fourth end, though the team missed a couple of shots that could have set up a chance for two points in that frame.
The US only managed one point in the fifth end despite holding the hammer, and the teams were knotted at 2-2 at the halfway point.
The sixth end proved to be pivotal. South Korea held the hammer, but Kim made consecutive mistakes with her final two shots to hand the US three crucial points and trail 5-2.
With her second-to-last stone, Kim couldn't get her draw shot into the house, as it bumped into another South Korean rock on the way.
Then with the final shot, Kim once again failed to send the rock into the scoring area or take out one of three US stones there.
Kim atoned for those mistakes in the seventh end, securing two points with the hammer thanks to a perfect takeout shot and cutting the deficit to 5-4.
In the eighth end, Kim's last stone stopped just shy of the button, and Peterson, holding the hammer, rolled her shot in the center of the house for two more points for the US.
South Korea wouldn't go down without a fight, cutting it to 7-6 in the ninth end thanks to Kim's successful takeout.
But the US held the hammer in the final end and played it safe, before picking up the final point with Peterson's last shot.
South Korea head coach Lim Myung-sup said his team didn't adjust to the fickle ice conditions, as well as the Americans did.
"We should have been more conservative, but we were too aggressive at times, which led to getting three points stolen in the sixth end," Lim said. "If we can adjust to the ice well in the evening game, we should have an opportunity (to win). We have to win all the remaining games and see what happens." (Yonhap)