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Women’s Asian Cup: Ji So-Yun’s goal helps Korea stun Australia, reach semis

Pune : South Korea caused a huge upset in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup football competition, beating two-time finalists Australia to make it to the Semi-finals here on Sunday. Ji So-Yun struck a late long-range stunner in the quarter-finals against Korea with a 1-0 win over 2018 runners-up Australia at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex,Balewadi, here on Sunday.The Chelsea midfielder thumped her effort home from 25 yards out, two minutes from time to give the Koreans victory after Cho So-Hyun had missed a penalty. Ji So-Yun’s goal meant Colin Bell’s side will meet either Chinese Taipei or the Philippines in the semi-finals on Thursday.Ji’s goal allowed her to overshadow her clubmate, Sam Kerr, as the Australian forward endured a disappointing game in front of the goal as the Matildas crashed out.Kerr had her first sight of goal as early as the seventh minute, chesting a long ball into the penalty area before rifling her effort over the bar.welve minutes later the Australians threatened again, with Kerr involved once more. The Chelsea striker flicked the ball into the path of Mary Fowler as the Korean defence was backpedaling, but the midfielder’s effort from distance was pushed wide by Kim Jung-mi.

From the resulting corner, the Matildas went closer still, Kerr’s header coming back off the woodwork. The Korea Republic were hanging on.Bell’s side were then handed the opportunity to take an unexpected lead when, after a lengthy VAR check, were awarded a penalty after Caitlin Foord was judged to have fouled Lee Geum-min inside the area.Cho So-Hyun, however, squandered the opportunity to give her side the lead with only five minutes remaining in the half when she fired her right foot spot-kick high over Lydia Williams’ crossbar.The Koreans came out for the second half looking to make amends for that miss, with Choe Yu-ri forcing Williams into a fine save six minutes after the restart while the goalkeeper was on hand again four minutes later to deny Cho So-Hyun’s header.Kerr’s struggles in front of goal continued with 15 minutes remaining when she dragged her effort wide of the goal after substitute Cortnee Vine’s pace down the right flank had put her in a position to provide her teammate with a gilt-edged opportunity.Then, with two minutes remaining, Ji hit the winner. Picking up possession 30 yards from goal she strode forward before unleashing a right-foot drive that Williams could only admire as it flew into the top corner.



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