China came from two goals down to defeat South Korea 3-2 on Sunday and win the Women’s Asian Cup for a record ninth time, according to AP.
Just five days after the men’s team was eliminated from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, a last-minute goal from Xiao Yuyi completed a dramatic comeback for China in Navi Mumbai, India.
“At half-time I told the players not to give up as anything can happen in 45 minutes,” said China coach Shui Qingxia, who won the title five times as a player. “We are delighted to win the title and we are going in the right direction in tactical, technical and psychological terms.”
The tournament also acts as Asia’s qualifying round for the 2023 World Cup. Both Korea and China have secured their places in the competition co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand along with semi finalists Japan and, for the first time, the Philippines.
Vietnam took the fifth World Cup spot after defeating Taiwan and Thailand in a round-robin play off.
South Korea had looked set for its first continental title after scoring twice in the first half. Choe Yu-ri found the target in the 27th minute and just before the break, Chelsea’s Ji So-yun scored from a penalty given after a handball by Yao Lingwei.
Midway through the second half, China was awarded a penalty of its own after Lee Young-ju handled in the area. Tang Jiali scored to reduce the deficit and just four minutes later she crossed for Zhang Jinyan to head home the equalizer.
In the final moments, South Korea missed a great opportunity to restore its lead and secure its first title before Wang Shanshan, named as the tournament’s MVP, set up Xiao to score the dramatic winning goal.
“We played well in the first half and it was great to score but we have to reflect on what happened in the second,” said Korea’s first goalscorer Choe. “We did show that we have progressed as a team and have to keeping moving forward in the future.”