AFC Women’s Asian Cup began on 20th January and we have all witnessed some entertaining matches, also there were some wonderful goals on the display from round 1 fixtures of the group stage. We take a review of all the six games played till now with exclusive match highlights and full details of all the events from the games. Relook into the games in case you missed them.
Starting with Group A, this is how the table looks like at the end of Matchday One.
CHINA (4) – (0) CHINESE TAIPEI
Eight-time champions China made a dream start to their AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign, easing to a 4-0 win over Chinese Taipei in the tournament opener at Mumbai Football Arena here on Thursday. Wang Shuang was the headline act with two goals and an assist in Shui Qingxia’s first game as head coach, with Wang Shanshan and Zhang Xin, also getting on the scoresheet in a comprehensive win.
China was awarded a penalty kick within 90 seconds, and Wang Shuang eased the ball home from 12 yards to give China their first goal in the game. China dominated proceedings as the Chinese Taipei side struggled to get hold of the ball even inside their own half. Chinese Taipei managed to slow down the Chinese juggernaut in the final few minutes of the first half as they had four shots on goal, two of which came from corners. However, the resilient Chinese defended well against Su Yu-Hsuan and Lai Li-Chin as the first half ended in 2-0.
China’s dominance was reflected in their 78 percent possession tally at the interval, and they went further ahead when the excellent Zhang Xin received stroke the ball to make it 3-0 in the 54th minute. Wang was outstanding and nearly created another goal when she found Li Ying with a defense-splitting pass in the 76th minute, only for the substitute’s effort to cannon into the upright. Chinese Taipei goalkeeper Cheng made a fine save to prevent the newly introduced Tang Jiali from adding a goal five minutes later. Wang Shuang showed her class again in the 68th minute, wrong-footing the Taipei defense with a neat turn before slamming home her second goal in the game. Shuang rounded up Chinese Taipei goalie Cheng Ssu-Yu before rolling the ball into an empty net to make it 4-0. China currently tops Group A with a 2 point lead over India and Iran who drew earlier.
INDIA (0) – (0) IRAN
Host India was held to a 0-0 draw in their opening match of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Thursday. India maintained dominance, had better ball possession, and also created several opportunities, but the efforts were not enough as the team failed to put the ball in the net.
Iran found itself under pressure again two minutes later when India’s Manisha Kalyan sent a delightful cross to Pyari Xaxa who, however, sent her header wide. India continued to dictate the pace of the game after the restart. Kalyan sent a clever pass to Kathiresan who at full stretch missed the target by mere inches. It was 52nd minute into the game and India had the perfect opportunity to take a lead against Iran. But missed chances cost the home team dearly as it was held to a goalless draw in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup opener. It seemed the coach Thomas Dennerby’s pep talk helped as the home team put up a disciplined show in the second half, coming up with a wave of attacks. The body language of the players indicated that they were desperate for a win, but eventually, the team could not break down the Iran defense.
India was denied what looked like a sure goal in the 77th minute when substitute Manisha Panna sent a delightful cross to Dangmei Grace, whose header from close-range was denied by a one-handed save by Iran goalkeeper Koudaei. Their hair neatly tucked inside the hijab, the Iranian team, which qualified for the first time, stood out on the pitch against a better-ranked India. While goalie Koudaei turned all heads with her heroics, forward Negin Zandi, too, played a significant role in maintaining the pressure on the opponent. Dennerby’s India will be aiming to claim their first win when they face Chinese Taipei on Sunday, while Iran faces eight-time champions China PR.
GROUP A FIXTURES IN MATCHDAY 2
23rd January – IRAN vs CHINA, Mumbai Football Arena (Kickoff at 3:30 PM IST)
23rd January – CHINESE TAIPEI vs INDIA, DY Patil Stadium (Kickoff at 7:30 PM IST)
Proceeding to group B now, this is how things stand after the end of matchday One.
AUSTRALIA (18) – (0) INDONESIA
Title-chasing Australia proved far too strong for an inexperienced Indonesia, surging to an 18-0 win in their opening AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 match at Mumbai Football Arena on Friday. It was Australia’s biggest ever in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup as they took the stage against Indonesia and dazzled. The gulf of class between the two nations was evident as captain Sam Kerr scored five goals, Emily van-Egmond scored a hat-trick, Ellie Carpenter and Hayley Raso scored a brace each, and Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler, Tameka Yallop, Kyah Simon, and Aivi scored a goal each.
Indonesia put up a brave defensive display in the early minutes, but their resistance was broken when Emily’s pass found Kerr, who steered home her 50th international goal in nine minutes, and that goal leveled Cahill’s record of most goals scored by an Australian player. Kerr duly broke it just two minutes later, with another van Egmond pass giving the Australian captain a virtually unmissable sight at goal. Kerr turned provider, teeing up Caitlin Foord for Australia’s third in the 14th minute before Mary Fowler got in on the act with an accomplished finish three minutes later, and the Matildas were 5-0 up when Raso bravely headed home in the 24th minute. Kerr completed her hat-trick from the penalty spot shortly before a sensational 15-yard strike from Carpenter extended the lead further.
Eight quickly became nine when Kerr poked home her fourth from a few feet out, with van Egmond once again the provider, before van Egmond herself made it nine at half-time with a thumping penalty kick shortly after. Carpenter brought up double figures with a speculative long-range effort before Kerr took her individual tally to five, then set up the productive van Egmond for a cushioned header to make it 12-0. Van Egmond completed her hat-trick and made it 13-0 just before the hour mark before Kerr missed a penalty kick. Substitute Kyah Simon added to the tally before she made it 16-0 in the 71st minute. It was a game raining with goals, but Aivi Luik scored the best of them when she superbly back-heeled Australia’s 17th in the 78th minute, before Raso gave the final touch for the biggest win of the competition in over 20 years.
THAILAND (0) – (1) PHILIPPINES
The Philippines were the lower-ranked team but put up a brilliant performance to catch out Thailand and give the Asian Cup its first upset. The Philippines, who came into the tie having not beaten Thailand in 12 previous attempts, started on the front foot but soon found themselves defending as the match progressed.
Thailand got into the action in the second minute when Saowalak Pengngam set up Miranda but the forward’s left-footed shot from inside the box was deflected. Right from the start of the match, the Philippines had the strategy of using the spaces behind the Thai defenders and getting to the end of attempted through ball to create chances. From the disallowed goal to the crossbar hit, the Philippines time and again hung on with the last line of defence and timed the runs very well against Thailand defenders, whose defensive body positioning did not look right.
Both teams continued to toil in front of the goal as the score remained 0-0 going into the break. However, the goal for the Philippines came from a goalkeeper error. Macdaniel just took a shot on target from outside the box and Waraporn Boonsing spilt the ball to gift the goal and the win to the Philippines. Despite being reduced to counter-attacks, the Philippines had two clear-cut chances just after the hour mark with Quinley Quezada and Chandler McDaniel both just failing to find the target from inside the box. The Philippines will be aiming to secure their second win when they face Australia on Monday, while Thailand meets Indonesia.
GROUP B FIXTURES IN MATCHDAY 2
24th January – PHILIPPINES vs AUSTRALIA, Mumbai Football Arena (Kickoff at 3:30 PM IST)
24th January – INDONESIA vs THAILAND, DY Patil Stadium (Kickoff at 5:30 PM IST)
Moving to group C, this is how the table appears like after the end of Matchday one.
JAPAN (5) – (0) MYANMAR
Two-time defending champions Japan made a winning start to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 on Friday as Futoshi Ikeda’s side secured a statement 5-0 win over Myanmar in Group C. The Japanese showed the difference in class from the opening whistle. Riko Ueki gave the Japanese the lead midway through the first half while strikes early in the second half from Yui Hasegawa and Hikaru Naomoto gave the champions a comfortable cushion.
Substitute Yui Narumiya hit the fourth before Hasegawa sealed the win in injury time, with Ueki threatening with an early header while Tanaka’s attempt moments later clipped the woodwork. Goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita punted the ball down the right flank towards Yui Hasegawa and her cross was headed in by Ueki as she arrived unmarked and at pace on the edge of the six-yard box. Tanaka was denied Japan’s second two minutes later when May Zin New blocked her effort and later Hasegawa rattled the crossbar as the champions dominated without opening up a significant gap over the South East Asians.
Hasegawa, however, doubled the lead two minutes after the restart as Japan’s quality began to show. Hinata Miyazawa’s stab forward was deftly steered into Hasegawa’s path by Ueki and the West Ham United midfielder coolly slotted home. Fuka Nagano also hit the bar from distance and Nwe continued to frustrate the Japanese attack until Narumiya claimed the fourth 19 minutes from time, scoring from the edge of the area only seconds after stepping off the bench. Hasegawa then capped a stellar performance when she instinctively clipped the ball over Nwe a minute into injury time as she came off the line to score the fifth and the final goal of the game. Japan face Vietnam on Monday, while Myanmar next faces the Korea Republic on Matchday 2.
KOREA REPUBLIC (3) – (0) VIETNAM
Korea Republic started their AFC Women’s Asian Cup Group C campaign by beating Vietnam 3-0 on Friday at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Stadium, Pune.
Ji So-Yun broke the deadlock in the fourth minute, before an own goal from Tran Thi Phuong Thao doubled the Koreans’ lead, with the Chelsea midfielder capping the night with a penalty kick in the second half. Korea Republic came close to scoring as early as the third minute me close to scoring as early as the third the minute when Choe Yu-ri beat the offside trap, only to see her effort bounce off the left post before slotted home the rebound, only for it to be ruled offside. The Koreans were rewarded just a minute later when Choe brilliantly intercepted a pass before sending it into the area to find Ji So-Yun, and the captain let loose a superb strike for the lead.
They were relentless as they barraged Vietnam’s keeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh with strike after strike, but the Southeast Asians were able to slow down the pace of the game as they began to find their footing. Vietnam found an opportunity in the 38th minute through a free-kick, but while Chuong Thi Kieu was able to pick out from the sea of players, the forward failed to keep her header down. The Korea Republic should have scored their third in the 74th minute when Cho So-Hyun crossed into the box for a surging Choe who was denied by Vietnam’s Tran from close-range. Vietnam had defended resolutely in the second half but Chuong was penalized for a handball in the 79th minute, and skipper Ji made no mistake with her strike into the bottom left corner.
GROUP C FIXTURES IN MATCHDAY 2
24th January – MYANMAR vs KOREA REPUBLIC, Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex (Kickoff at 1:30 PM IST)
24th January – VIETNAM vs JAPAN, Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex (Kickoff at 7:30 PM IST)
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