Korea off to World Cup after win
AMMAN: South Korea coach Yoon DukYeo will look to fine tune his team over the coming 14 months after they sealed their place at the 2019 Fifa Women’s World Cup with a 5-0 thrashing of the Philippines in a regional play-off on Monday.
Cho So-Hyun scored twice, while Jang Sel-Gi, Lee Mi-Na and Lim Seon-Joo were also on target as the South Koreans claimed the fifth and final spot, along with the semifinalists, at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
“Our players did a great job and an excellent performance which helped us qualify for the World Cup,” said Yoon, who also led the side to the round of 16 at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
“Of course, it would have been much better if we had been in the semi-finals, but all my players gave 100 percent in all the matches and played very well throughout the tournament.
“This is not the end, there is now the World Cup. We have found some things we need to improve and from now on, we will try to prepare well for next year in France.”
South Korea and the Philippines finished third in their respective groups at the eight-team Asian continental championship, which doubles up as the region’s final qualifier for France 2019.
Japan, Australia, China and Thailand had already advanced by reaching the last four in Jordan.
Although the Philippines’ dream of reaching a first ever World Cup came to end, captain Tahnai Annis believes the tournament could be a turning point for the women’s game in the country.
She said that while the Malditas were disappointed to fall at the final hurdle, she will look back at Jordan 2018 with fondness.
“I think this whole Asian Cup has been an amazing experience for all of us and especially for women’s football in the Philippines,” she said.
“We’re on the map now, and people notice us. Coming into this no one mentioned anything about the Philippines — that was going to be everyone’s easy game and [opponents] didn’t have to think about us, but we really fought and we were [competitive in every game.”
South Korea’s Lim Seon-Joo, left, vies with the Philippines’ Kearra Bastes-Jones.