Thailand 2019 semi-finals line-up confirmed
Chonburi: With the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 group stage action coming to an end on Sunday, the tournament’s four semi-finalists have now been confirmed.
As the dust settles on 12 pulsating matches in Chonburi, Group A winners DPR Korea will now tackle Group B runners-up Korea Republic, while reigning champions Japan – who topped the Group B standings – are set to meet Australia after they finished second in Group A. Both matches are scheduled to be played on Wednesday.
In addition to Continental glory being on the line, the competition’s top three finishers are guaranteed places at next year’s FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Nigeria.
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DPR Korea (Group A winners)
Son Sung-gwon’s talented charges recorded three successive victories to claim their place in the last four, scoring 11 goals in the process and conceding only twice.
With captain Ri Su-gyong impressing throughout, DPR Korea opened their account in fine style courtesy of a 5-1 win over fellow semi-finalists Australia, before going on to beat Vietnam 3-0 and then host nation Thailand 3-1.
No fewer than nine players have found the net for the East Asians at Thailand 2019 as they look at add a second title to the one they claimed in 2007.
Korea Republic (Group B runners-up)
Sunday’s narrow 1-0 defeat of Myanmar saw champions Korea Republic finish second in Group B after Hur Jung-jae’s side had been forced to wait until Matchday Three to confirm their progress.
That victory came after a taxing 2-1 win over China PR on Matchday One and a disappointing 2-0 loss to eventual group winners Japan on Matchday Two.
Korea Republic’s success at Thailand 2019 comes after they failed to progress from the group stage at the 2017 edition and some six years since their last AFC U-19 Women’s Championship triumph.
Japan (Group B winners)
Under the wily guidance of head coach Futoshi Ikeda, Japan breezed into the semi-finals as Group B’s top team after winning all three of their group stage matches.
Sunday’s hard-fought 2-1 victory over China PR came in the wake of similarly successful outings against Myanmar and Korea Republic who they beat 5-0 and 2-0 on Matchdays One and Two respectively.
The five-time champions have impressed thus far as they seek to not only retain their Continental crown but also go on to defend the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title they claimed in 2018.
Australia (Group A runners-up)
A last gasp 1-0 win over Vietnam on Matchday Three helped Australia secure a second successive AFC U-19 Women’s Championship semi-final appearance.
Mary Fowler, who was sensational during the competition’s qualifiers, bagged her third of the tournament to seal the dramatic victory, one which came after an opening day loss to Group A winners DPR Korea and a far more encouraging 3-1 defeat of Thailand.
Australia are in their eighth AFC U-19 Women’s Championship appearance, with their best performance to date coming in 2006 when they finished third.
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