Korea off to World Cup af­ter win

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

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.”

AFP

South Korea’s Lim Seon-Joo, left, vies with the Philip­pines’ Kearra Bastes-Jones.

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