Just an update, as the tournament is not completed, but the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup, held in Vietnam this year, saw its Group Stage come to a close. 8 teams qualified for the the tournament that will also serve as qualifier to the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada. In Group A, we had defending Olympic silver medallists Japan, Australia, Jordan and hosts Vietnam. Group B saw powerhouses China, lowly Myanmar, Thailand and South Korea. North Korea was barred from the 2015 WWC and the 2014 Women’s Asian Cup due to a doping scandal in 2011.
Our female Taeguk Warriors cruised through their first two games, starting off the tournament with a 12-0 triumph over Myanmar. Ji So-Yun, the Chelsea Ladies’ midfielder, opened the scoring, Jeon Ga-Eul and Cho So-Hyun earned hattricks and Park Eun-Seon, who you’ll remember was involved in that pathetic scandal about her gender, scored a brace. She would do better in the second match, earning a hat trick against Thailand in a 4-0 victory. It’s earned her joint top scorer status. With that win, South Korea earned a trip to the WWC for the first time in 12 years. Although the previously mentioned disqualification of North Korea as well as the number of Asian berths being increased from 3 to 5 may be contributing factors, one cannot deny that it wasn’t a well deserved qualification. And after South Korea held traditional powerhouses China to a 0-0 draw today in Ho Chi Minh City, it is clear that the Koreans will be no pushovers come 2015.
With that hard-fought draw, the Koreans topped their group, and have earned a semi-final with the defending Women’s Asian Cup champs, the “Matildas” from Australia. The Aussies drew Japan, and edged Jordan and Vietnam by two goals in their other group games. In the other semi-final, China face off against Japan in what should be a heated affair. All four teams have earned a spot in the WWC, alongside either Thailand or Vietnam, who will face off in a special playoff for the final Asian spot.
The Korea v Australia Semi-Final will be held on the 22nd of May, at 9:45am Eastern Time, or 10:45pm Korean Time. Can the South Koreans claim a maiden Women’s Asian Cup crown? Stay tuned at the Tavern of the Taeguk Warriors!