HANOI, June 20(Xinhuanet)-- Chinese Taipei, Myanmar, Thailand and hosts Vietnam have won berths to the finals round of the AFC Women's Championship after the qualifying round ended here Monday.
In the two quarterfinals contested on Monday, Myanmar defeated Uzbekistan 2-1 while Thailand downed India 3-2 to book the berths.
On Sunday, Chinese Taipei crushed Singapore 3-0 and Vietnam eased by Chinese Hong Kong 4-1 in the other two quarterfinals.
Thanks to physical strength and numerical advantage, Myanmar netted twice in the next half after trailing Uzbekistan 0-1 at halftime.
Both teams played actively and held relatively equal ball possession in the first half, with Myanmar players performing a little better than their opponents due to good physical strength and personal skills.
However, Uzbekistan player Natalya Mihaylova scored the openinggoal in the 25th minute after latching onto a short pass from right flank. Her blitz low shot to the left corner surprised Myanmar goalie Khin May Min. After the goal, Myanmar deployed a pressing style, continually laying siege to Uzbekistan goalkeeper Yuliya Ahmedova.
In the 26th minute, Myanmar player Nandar Aye Hlaing made a curler from a free kick from a distance of some 20 meters, but it was caught by Natalya. On the stroke of the break, her teammate Mar Zin Wann, with a powerful shot and sudden header, also failed to defeat the goalie twice.
Five minutes after the break, Hlaing, standing near the left corner, delivered a curler above Natalya, so it did not escape herhands. In the 63rd minute, Myanmar Lar Mar Win, after receiving a low pass from the right wing, equalized the score with a powerful shot from close range.
After Uzbekistan player Oydinhon Turdimatova received her second yellow card in the 68th minute and then left the field witha miserable and painful face, partly because she had been injured repeatedly, Myanmar launched series of rapid attack. Their effortspaid off in the 85th minute when Wann blasted home from close range, sealing off a victory of 2-1 for Myanmar.
"Four of our key players were injured before the match today. Our player No. 5 named Turdimatova even got hurt again during the match," Miriman Kim, Uzebekistan's coach, said after the game, adding that Myanmar took advantage of her dismissal in the second half.
Aye Maung, Myanmar's coach, said he was very satisfied at his players' physical strength, adding that their average age was 23.
In another exciting quarterfinal match, Thailand had a hard-earned triumph of 3-2 over India. Each of the teams netted twice in the first half.
The qualifying round of the AFC(Asian Football Confederation) Women's Championship, featuring 12 teams, took place from June 12-20 in the Vietnamese capital.
The top four teams, namely Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Myanmar andThailand, and 4 automatic finalists, namely China, Japan, South Korea and Democratic People's Republic of Korea, will enter the finals round slated for May 2006 in Japan. Enditem