AFC Women's Olympics Qualifying Tournament: Australia take Group B top spot in dramatic fashion
Round 3 of the AFC Women’s Olympics Qualifying Tournament concluded on Thursday with all proceeding nations confirmed.
The schedule for the Play-off round will be played over 2 legs with the following schedule:
- South Korea vs China PR: 3/6 & China PR vs South Korea: 3/11
- Australia vs Vietnam: 3/6 & Vietnam vs Australia 3/11
Australia finished top of Group B on goal difference, with Team China finishing second.
The final matchday of Round 3 saw the two teams play each other in an enthralling encounter. Given their superior goal difference, a draw was enough to see The Matildas take the top spot and set up a Play-off round encounter with Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Second-placed China will face a much less manageable opponent in South Korea. The winner of each Playoff will qualify for the final rounds at Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The first half passed with China controlling the run of play for the most part. Chances were created at both ends, with The Steal Roses looking the more potent.
In dubious circumstances, China forward Wang Shanshan had a goal disallowed in the 34th minute, before coming close with a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar shortly after.
The match proceeded along much the same lines after the interval with Australia looking to retain possession.
China created plenty but converted naught as the clock ran down. Eventually, their saving grace came in the 86th minute when Jiali Tang netted a superb strike from 25 years.
The celebrations were not to be, however, as Emily van Egmond pulled Australia level in the 92nd minute with the game finishing 1-1.
Interestingly, the stats show that China is capable of producing more with less. Despite having only 30% possession, they created 19 shots with seven on target.
Australia needs only a draw seemed content to holding on to the ball and proceeding cautiously. From their 70% possession, they created 15 shots with three on target.
Australia is rewarded with a draw against the 2nd placed team in Group A, Vietnam.Published 14 Feb 2020, 10:38 IST