Powerhouse Korea Republic ends Malditas’ fairytale run in AFC Women’s Asian Cup
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Powerhouse Korea Republic on Thursday night stopped the fairytale run of the Philippine Women’s National Football Team, blasting the Malditas, 2-0 in the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in India.
The loss, however, did little to deny the Filipinas some measure of pride after their historic quarterfinal win over Chinese-Taipei assured them of a first-ever appearance in next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
The Koreans were relentless in their offense, converting two of their seven shots. They also dominated the ball possession and had great pass accuracy than the Malditas.
Cho So-Hyun gave Korea the early lead with a picture-perfect header from a corner pass in the fourth minute.
Sarina Bolden tried to retaliate with her own header at the 32nd minute, but her attempt went wide.
Korea scored again in the 34th minute on Son Hwa-Yeon’s short strike from a left-wing pass.
The Koreans kept their offense firing in the second half with relentless attacks, keeping goalkeeper Olivia Davies-McDaniel busy throughout the match.
“It was really a tough match,” said Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic.
“To take this team, so much dedication, so much heart, so much spirit considering how much they have to overcome and to get to this level and compete until the last kick is truly such a remarkable effort from the team.”
Aside from Bolden, Katrina Guillou and Tahnai Annis also had their chances to score a goal, but couldn’t convert in the face of the Koreans’ rock-solid defense.
Nonetheless, it was a memorable stint for the Filipinas who qualified for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup after beating Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals last Sunday with a thrilling penalty shootout, 1-1 (4-3).
Meanwhile, China eliminated Japan with a thrilling penalty shootout win, 2-2 (4-3), in the other semifinals match.
The Chinese will meet the Koreans in the championship battle on Sunday, February 6.
Thailand, Chinese-Taipei, and Vietnam will battle for the last remaining qualifying spot for the FIFA Women’s World Cup. /rcg
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