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Korea Republic stun Australia with late goal to enter semifinals

AIFF Media Team

MUMBAI: Ji So-yun capped off a memorable night for Korea Republic with a stunning long-range goal two minutes from the end to send Australia crashing out of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 India at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Sunday, January 30, 2022. The Matildas had qualified for the knockout stage without breaking much of a sweat, scoring 24 goals in 3 games but Korea Republic proved to be a much bigger step up in class.

Australia had the better chances in the first half, with tournament top-scorer Samantha Kerr hitting the post and Mary Fowler drawing a save from Korea goalkeeper Kim Jungmi. But it was Korea who had a chance to open the scoring after being awarded a penalty at the end of the first half via VAR. Cho So-Hyun stepped up but blazed her kick over the bar.

The second half was a much tighter affair despite the Australians still dominating possession and looking for openings. But those missed chances in the first half came back to haunt them as Ji So-yun picked up the ball on the left, drove inwards and unleashed a shot into the top corner from 25 yards to send her side into the semifinals.

Defending champions Japan made light work of Thailand, dispatching them 7-0 thanks to four goals from Yuika Sagasawa, who had come on as a first half substitute for Mina Tanaka at the D.Y. Patil stadium in Navi Mumbai. Hinata Miyazawa, Rin Sumida and Riko Ueki also got on the scoresheet as the Nadeshiko progress into the semifinals with their eyes firmly set on winning a third successive AFC Women’s Asian Cup crown.

Eight-time winners China PR came from behind 3-1 to see off the challenge posed by Vietnam to secure their place in the last four at the D.Y. Patil stadium. Having gone behind to a goal from Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung, the Steel Roses hit back through goals from Wang Shuang, Wang Shanshan and Jiali Tang to set up a mouth-watering clash against Japan for a place in the final.

The Philippines brought to an end a dramatic day of football by advancing to their first ever AFC Women’s Asian Cup semifinal by edging Chinese Taipei 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after extra time. Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel saved two and scored one penalty in the shootout to set up a tie against Korea Republic in the next round.

All four semi-finalists have secured an automatic berth for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 in Australia and New Zealand.

Semifinal fixtures (February 3, Pune)

Korea Republic vs Philippines (1:30 PM IST)

China vs Japan (7:30 PM IST)

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