Chinese Taipei defeated Thailand 3-0 in the playoff series on Friday to inch closer to a berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand next year.
Su Yu-Hsuan scored a brace of goals (45th and 84th min) and Chen Ying-Hui (90+3) contributed one goal for Chinese Taipei at the D.Y. Patil Stadium here.
The three points they bagged by beating Thailand mean Chinese Taipei’s tie against Vietnam on Sunday will be a showdown for the sole automatic qualifying slot to Australia/New Zealand 2023. Vietnam had beaten Thailand in the first match of the playoff series.
Thailand’s FIFA Women’s World Cup hopes now depend on them navigating the Inter-Confederation playoffs.
With Vietnam having won the first tie of the round-robin playoffs on Wednesday, there was no margin for error for both Chinese Taipei and Thailand.
Thailand, having been on the receiving end of a 2-0 defeat in the first playoff tie, needed victory to keep their hopes alive while a win for Chinese Taipei would mean playing Vietnam in a more comfortable position on Sunday.
Thailand — despite missing several players due to the Covid-19 outbreak in their squad — were the early aggressors with Chinese Taipei’s Tsai Ming-Jung the busier of the two goalkeepers in the opening minutes.
Her first test came in the 14th minute after Thailand were awarded a free-kick just outside the box with Tsai easily dealing with Wilaiporn Boothduang’s effort.
Chinese Taipei, having weathered the early storm, began to see more of the ball but had to wait till the final seconds of the first half to open the scoring, with Su Yu-Hsuan deftly collecting Wu Kai-Ching’s through pass before slotting past Thailand goalkeeper Chotmanee Thongmongkol.
Undeterred at having conceded late in the first half, Thailand began on the front foot when play resumed and were desperately unlucky in the 49th minute as Wilaiporn Boothduang’s right-footed shot from the centre of the box was denied by the left post.
Irravadee Makris then saw her attempt from just outside the box go wide as Thailand intensified their search for the equaliser.
Thailand continued to set the pace but Chinese Taipei were hardly troubled as they comfortably held on before doubling their lead in the 84th minute with Su scoring her second with a quick turn and shot after receiving Wu Kai-Ching’s pass.
There was to be a third, with Chen Ying-Hui’s free-kick from some 30 yards scorching the net as Chinese Taipei shifted their focus to Vietnam.