Korea Republic booked a place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022™ final with a comfortable 2-0 win over Philippines at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune on Thursday.
Korea Republic’s first ever appearance in the final was sealed early, with Cho So-hyun and Son Hwa-yeon scoring in the first half for the East Asian side.
The Philippines, playing in their first AFC Women’s Asian Cup semi-final, can be proud of their efforts though as they gave the match their all and can look forward to an inaugural appearance in the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia/New Zealand.
Korea Republic wasted no time in applying heavy pressure from the get-go and opened the scoring as early as the fourth minute when Player of the Match Cho headed in Kim Hye-ri’s corner kick past Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel.
Eager to impress in their first-ever semi-final appearance, the Philippines were undeterred by the early setback and Sofia Harrison’s attempt from distance six minutes later showed they meant business.
The Taeguk Ladies, however, continued to hold the lion’s share of possession and came close through Son Hwa-yeon’s efforts in the 15th and 19th minutes, but McDaniel’s safe hands kept the Philippines in the game.
Despite having to play on counter-attacks, Philippines had their moments with Katrina Guillou giving the Koreans a scare in the 24th minute when her long-range strike missed by mere inches.
Korea Republic, however, looked dangerous every time they surged forward and doubled their lead in the 34th minute when an unmarked Son tapped in Choo Hyo-joo’s cross.
Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic sent on Malea Louise Cesar, Chandler McDaniel and Sara Castaneda at the start of the second half but the changes had little effect as Korea Republic goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi was hardly tested.
It was harder for Korea Republic to find opportunities as the Philippines kept their defence compact, but they almost found a breakthrough in the 67th minute when Son got at the end of a series of passes only to shoot straight at McDaniels.
Korea Republic continued to attack the Philippines goalmouth with Cho and substitute Lee Min-a getting into the thick of the action in the final 15 minutes, but couldn’t keep their strikes on target.
Lee should have scored the third in the 87th minute after squeezing past two defenders to collect a through pass in the final third, but McDaniels stood firm to deny her but it mattered not as Korea Republic advanced to their first final.