Qualifiers Round 2 cast taking shape
Kuala Lumpur: Philippines, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, Jordan and Islamic Republic of Iran were the first teams to confirm their spots in Round 2 of the 2020 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers after claiming the top two spots in their respective groups on Sunday.
The four group winners and runners-up, along with two best third-placed teams, will progress to the second round of the Qualifiers, where they will meet Uzbekistan and Vietnam.
PHILIPPINES 5-1 MONGOLIA
Hisor: Philippines booked their berth in Round 2 after claiming a 5-1 win over Mongolia to secure a top two spot in Group A.
The Southeast Asians continued their fine form in a match where they enjoyed an early lead with Shelah Mae Cadag scoring back-to-back goals in the eighth and 15th minutes. However, Mongolia were able to pull one back in the second minute of first half added time through Undrakh Ulzibayar.
Philippines, who finished sixth at the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in April, continued to dominate second half proceedings with Kathleen Camille Muldong Rodriguez restoring their two-goal lead on 60 minutes.
Despite Mongolia’s best efforts, Philippines sealed their third successive win when Kyla Jan Inquig and Cadag found the back of the net in the 81st and 85th minutes respectively.
Philippines will look to seal the top spot when they face Chinese Taipei on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE 0-10 CHINESE TAIPEI
Chinese Taipei also secured their place in the next round of the Qualifiers when they outclassed Singapore 10-0.
The first half saw Yu Hsiu-Chin (18th, 30th, 40th) clinch a hat-trick, with Michelle Pao scoring one in the 28th minute.
Pao then became Chinese Taipei’s second player of the night to claim at-trick honours with goals in the 55th and 68th minutes.
The East Asians impressed in the final 20 minutes of the match with four different goal scorers - Lin Kai-Ling (73rd), Lin Hsin-Hui (79th), Lin Ya-han (85th) and Ho Hsuan-Yi (86th) - finding the net.
Singapore will play host nation Tajikistan on Tuesday.
LEBANON 0-4 HONG KONG
Chonburi: Hong Kong are one win away from securing top spot in Group B after beating Lebanon 4-0 at the Institute of Physical Education Stadium.
Lebanon, who had suffered an opening day loss to Islamic Republic of Iran, needed to win to keep their qualifying hopes alive, and Wael Gharzeddine’s side did well in holding Hong Kong back.
However, seven minutes after the break, Cheung Wai Ki broke the deadlock, before Wai Yuen Ting furthered Chinese Taipei's lead with back-to-back goals in the 55th and 56th minutes.
10 minutes from the full-time whistle, Kwang Wing Yan made it 4-0.
Hong Kong’s win means that the East Asians and Iran are assured of spots in the second round of the Qualifiers, and a triumph over the Central Asians would place them on top of Group B.
BANGLADESH 1-7 INDIA
Yangon: India secured their first win in their Group C campaign, thumping regional rivals Bangladesh 7-1 at the Thuwunna Stadium.
After being held to a draw by Nepal on Matchday One, India began the match brightly and took the lead when Kamala Devi Yumnam converted a spot-kick in the 16th minute before Bala Devi Ngangom scored in the 22nd and 23rd minutes.
Yumnam scored her second goal of the night eight minutes into the second half, with Ngangom completing her hat-trick on 62 minutes.
Sanju also found the back of the net nine minutes later, before Ngangom took her personal tally to four goals in the 75th minute.
On Tuesday, India will qualify as group winners if they beat host nation Myanmar, while Bangladesh face Nepal.
NEPAL 1-1 MYANMAR
Myanmar came back from a goal down to salvage a 1-1 draw with Nepal.
The Southeast Asians suffered an early deficit when Nepal were awarded a penalty in the third minute with Sabitra Bhandari converting the spot kick.
Nepal’s lead, however, was short lived with Kim Moe Wai scoring the equaliser 11 minutes later.
MALDIVES 1-3 INDONESIA
West Bank: Indonesia earned their first win in their Group D campaign after defeating Maldives 3-1 at the Faisal Al Husseini Stadium.
Jasella Arifa Sari’s 22nd minute effort secured Indonesia a one-goal lead going into the break.
Four minutes after the break, Ade Mustikiana Oktafiani doubled Indonesia’s lead before scoring another on 69 minutes.
Zahir Fadhuwa found the back of the net four minutes later but was only a consolation goal as Indonesia held on for the win.
Indonesia will confirm their place in Round 2 of the Qualifiers if they win against Jordan, while Maldives play Palestine on Tuesday.
PALESTINE 0-7 JORDAN
Jordan are through to the second round of the Qualifiers after beating Palestine 7-0, assuring themselves a top two finish in Group D.
Host of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, Jordan took the lead in the 21st minute through Stephanie Alnaber’s effort before Anfal Alsufy doubled their advantage five minutes later.
Alsufy scored her second of the night on 67 minutes, followed by Shahnaz Jebreen finding the back of the net in the 78th minute.
Three minutes later, Alsufy completed her hat-trick, with Abeer Mohamoud Alnahar and Tasneem Abu-Rob ending proceedings with goals in the 83rd and 88th minutes to seal an emphatic win.
Photos: Football Association of Thailand, Myanmar Football Federation, Tajikistan Football Federation, Palestine Football Association