Women’s Asian Cup: Philippines beat Chinese Taipei to create history

The Philippines advanced to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 semi-finals, upsetting former champions Chinese Taipei 4-3 on penalties after their quarter-final match ended 1-1 in extra time here on Sunday.

On a historic night for the Southeast Asian side, the Philippines not only booked a maiden appearance in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup semi-finals but also a berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup. They play the Korea Republic in the semi-final on Thursday.

Chinese Taipei’s FIFA Women’s World Cup hopes, meanwhile, depend on them successfully navigating the three-team playoffs, with the top side at the end of the round-robin competition to advance to the Finals and the remaining two to play in the Inter-Confederation playoffs.

Chinese Taipei and the Philippines, who finished runners-up in Groups A and B respectively, got off to a cagey start at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex with most of the action taking place in midfield in the opening minutes.

The Philippines, who reverted to their first-choice lineup, had the first sight on goal in the ninth minute when Sarina Bolden moved onto Sofia ‘arrison’s through ball, but the forward could only rattle the side netting under heavy Chinese Taipei pressure.

Three-time winners Chinese Taipei were swift with their passes and in one such an instance in the 19th minute, Su Yu-Hsuan tested Olivia McDaniel before Chen Yen-Ping forced another save out of the goalkeeper in the 23rd minute.

The Philippines’ best chance of the first half came in the 37th minute when Bolden curled a cross into the area, but the surging Quinley Quezeda was unable to keep her strike on target.

The Philippines continued their heavy pressing in the second half and finally cracked the Chinese Taipei defence in the 48th minute when Quezada redirected Katrina Guillou’s header to beat ‘keeper Cheng Ssu-Yu from close range.

Chinese Taipei immediately switched into a more attacking mode with Chen and Su Sin-Yun leading the charge, but opportunities were far and few in between as the Philippines controlled the pace of the game.

Chinese Taipei remained persistent, however, with captain Wang Hsiang-Huei taking a crack on goal following Ting Chi’s cut back into the edge of the box, missing by mere inches.

Their determination was finally rewarded in the 82nd minute when Zhuo Li-Ping stunningly found the top right corner of the net from some 25 yards out for the equaliser to force the match into extra time.

Both teams were visibly tired in extra time, with Chinese Taipei substitute Lin Hsin-Hui coming the closest in the 112th minute, but neither side were able to break the deadlock with the Philippines eventually prevailing 4-3 on penalties to book their place in the semi-finals and seal a berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.

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