In a largely one-sided semifinal fixture, Korea Republic beat the Philippines 2-0 to progress to the final of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 - for the first time in five attempts - at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Thursday.
Korea drew first blood with Jo So-hyun scoring with a strong header from a corner kick in the fourth minute. The Koreans dictated play, holding over 70 per cent possession through most parts of the game.
This lead extended to a two-goal cushion in the 33rd minute when Son Hwayeon converted a cross from Cho Jyu Hoo from the left, sliding the ball into the goal from the near post for her eighth international strike.
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Korea would have comfortably added a few more to that score line, especially in the second half, but faced resistance from an inspired Oliva McDaniel in goal. She saved several chances, particularly in the last 20 minutes, to ensure the Koreans could do no more damage.
Her sister, Chandler McDaniel, who has been crucial in the side’s attack en route to the semis, started on the bench after picking up a niggle in the quarterfinal against Chinese Taipei. Coming on as a second-half substitute, she was unable to make an impact, lasting for just eight minutes before she was brought down twice and helped off the pitch.
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The Philippines was left playing much of the game in its own half, chasing after the Koreans for most parts. However, Alen Stajcic’s girls were anything but tame, trying to fashion chances whenever Korea afforded them the opportunity but were found wanting in their finishes. A few attempts went over the crossbar while a few others couldn’t get past a clinical Korean backline that was barely tested in this game.
Coming off their 120-minute long quarterfinal win over Chinese Taipei, the physical exhaustion was evident for the Filipinos, who finally ran out of adrenaline to carry themselves forward in this competition.
Brief scores: Korea Republic 2 (Jo So-hyun 4", Son Hwayeon 33") beat the Philippines 0.
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