Asian football

PH women bow out of Asian Cup with Korean heartbreaker

Juro Morilla
PH women bow out of Asian Cup with Korean heartbreaker

CHALLENGE. Philippines' Hali Long (left) and South Korea's Son Hwayeon dispute the ball.


(2nd UPDATE) The Filipina booters exit the AFC Asian Cup after a 2-0 loss to the world No. 18 Koreans in their semifinal match

MANILA, Philippines – The Cinderella run of the Philippine women’s football team in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 came to an end as South Korea delivered the knockout blow at 2-0 in the semifinal round on Thursday, February 3, at the Shree Shivv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India.

Despite the loss, the Filipina booters already secured their spot in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 along with the other tournament semifinalists.

Korea’s Cho So Hyun found the back of the net at the 4’ mark with a booming header via a corner kick after she got away from the Philippines’ Jessica Miclat – who was marking her during the set piece – and jumped over Sofia Harrison to connect with the ball.

Son Hwayeon then recorded the second and final goal of the match after she tapped in Choo Hyojoo’s brilliant low cross from the left flank at the 34’ mark.

The Koreans will fight for the crown for the first time against Japan or China, the two other Asian powerhouses battling in the semifinals in a late night kick-off. 

The championship match will be on Sunday, February 6.

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After scoring an early goal from their first corner of the match, the Koreans continued to dominate the ball and looked to end the semifinal tie as quickly as possible.

The Filipina booters, however, had a chance to equalize in the 23rd minute as their play from the back almost resulted in a goal.

Goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel produced an outstanding goal kick and found Sarina Bolden, who immediately headed it to Katrina Guillou. 

Guillou then launched an audacious long range attempt, but unfortunately for her, it just went over the bar and yielded a goal kick for Kim Jung Mi, Korea’s goalie.

The Philippines’ next chance came nine minutes later as Miclat fired a cross near the halfway line and connected with Quinley Quezda, who rapidly flicked it to Bolden. 

Bolden just narrowly missed the flick on of her teammate and found themselves down 0-2 two minutes later.

Korea finished the first half with a 79.5% possession and had lower stats in the defensive aspect of the match.

The Filipinas somewhat did well defensively with a 54.8% duels success rate, a 66.7% aerial duels won, and a total of 6 interceptions, but they just couldn’t prevent the goals from leaking in.

Philippine head coach Alen Stajcic subbed in Sara Castañeda and Malea Cesar for match day captain Tahani Annis and Eva Madarang, respectively, to begin the second half.

Castañeda was a calming presence in the midfield, while Cesar was active on the wing, but both substitutes fell short of providing a goal for the Philippines.

Stajcic had another substitute come in 13 minutes later as Chandler McDaniel, who fired the the match winner in the group stage clash versus Thailand, hobbled off the pitch.

Olivia McDaniel had two superb saves in quick succession inside a five-minute span to deny Korea adding to their goal tally.

The first one came from a Son right-footed shot near the center of the penalty box at the 66th minute, while the second save was at the 71st minute after Choo curled a phenomenal attempt from outside the box.

Korea continued to push for a third goal until the final whistle, but Olivia McDaniel and the Philippines defense stood tall to block off a rout. –

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