AFC Women’s Asian Cup: Second half show against Philippines takes Australia into quarters


Australia advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s Asian Cup on Monday after a decisive second-half showing saw Tony Gustavsson’s side defeat Philippines 4-0 in Mumbai.

After a goalless first half, Sam Kerr opened the scoring with a 51st-minute header before Dominique Randle’s own goal two minutes later put the Matildas in control of the Group B encounter.

Emily van Egmond and Mary Fowler were also on target as the Australians defeated a Philippines side directed by former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic.

The win, coupled with their 18-0 thrashing of Indonesia on the opening day, means the Australians are guaranteed a place in the last eight ahead of their final group game against Thailand on Thursday.

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“The first half, they made it difficult for us to break them down and in the second half we came out and capitalised quite early, which gave us good momentum for the last 45 minutes,” said Van Egmond.

“But credit to the Philippines, they came out and they were disciplined and made it tough for us. But we’re proud of our group of girls, to follow the game plan and get it done.”

South Korea moved a step closer to booking its place in the next round despite labouring to a 2-0 win over Myanmar.

Coach Colin Bell was forced to introduce Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun from the bench 11 minutes from the end of the first half to invigorate his side as it struggled to break down its defensively disciplined opponents.

The Koreans finally opened their account five minutes into the second half when Cho So-hyun’s cushioned header across the six-yard box was controlled by Lee Geum-min before she scored.

Ji was instrumental in the second strike six minutes from time when her header back across goal brushed against defender Tun Khin Mo Mo before crossing the line via the inside of the post.

South Korea will confirm its place in the next round if Japan defeats Vietnam in the late game in Group C in Pune.

Indian team withdrawn from AFC Women’s Asian Cup

The top two finishers in each of the three groups will advance to the knockout rounds along with the two third-place finishers with the best records.

The competition is doubling up as Asia’s qualifier for next year’s Women’s World Cup, with the continent awarded five guaranteed spots at the finals in Australia and New Zealand.

Australia qualifies for the World Cup as co-hosts while two other Asian nations will feature in an intercontinental playoff round.

Champions Japan advance to quarters with win over Vietnam

Defending champion Japan beat Vietnam 3-0 in Pune on Monday to book its place in the quarter-finals alongside Australia and South Korea.

Yui Narumiya scored twice, with her goals coming either side of an effort from former Asian Women’s Player of the Year Saki Kumagai.

Victory means Japan go into their final game in Group C against South Korea on Thursday guaranteed a top-two finish.

Futoshi Ikeda’s side had to wait until the 38th minute to take the lead when Narumiya netted from close range, while Kumagai claimed a rare international goal from similar range five minutes into the second half.

Narumiya beat Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh to her left in the 58th minute to put the seal on a comfortable win for the 2014 and 2018 winners.

The result ensures South Korea also advances after its 2-0 win over Myanmar earlier in the day.

The Koreans struggled to break down their defensively disciplined opponents but finally opened their account five minutes into the second half when Lee Geum-min netted following Cho So-hyun’s cushioned header.

Chelsea midfielder Ji So-yun was instrumental in the second goal six minutes from time when her header back across the target brushed against defender Tun Khin Mo Mo before crossing the line via the inside of the post.


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