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03 February 2022, 15:56

Women's football coach confident S. Korea can win maiden Asian women's title


SEOUL, 3 February (BelTA -Yonhap News). - The South Korean women's football team made history by reaching the final of the top Asian tournament for the first time on Thursday.

Head coach Colin Bell believes his players are capable of so much more.

South Korea beat the Philippines 2-0 in the semifinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup in India. First-half goals by Cho So-hyun and Son Hwa-yeon put South Korea one win away from winning their maiden AFC crown.

Their best performance had been the third-place showing in 2003. The winner of the other semifinal match on Thursday, between China and Japan, will play South Korea in Sunday's final in Navi Mumbai.

"The girls worked tremendously hard before the tournament. To get to the final now is such a big achievement for us all," Bell said after the victory. "Obviously, really happy with the result and with the chance to play in the final."

South Korea opened the tournament with two straight wins, and then played Japan, the two-time defending champions, to a 1-1 draw to wrap up the group stage. In the quarterfinals, South Korea, ranked 18th, stunned the 11th-ranked Australia 1-0.

Against the 64th-ranked Philippines, Cho's goal in the fourth minute set the early tone for South Korea. Son added the insurance goal half an hour later.

After holding Japan to a spirited draw, Bell declared that his objective was to win the tournament. He said Thursday he didn't consider it such a bold prediction.

"I know what the girls are capable of when they hit the form," Bell said. "We needed a win against a big nation and that was against Australia. Now, we wanted to clear the last hurdle without tripping over. We took the Philippines very seriously. Today's result was never in doubt."

Without going into specifics, Bell said he wants the team to "fulfill the criteria that we need to fulfill."

"We are capable of beating every team," Bell said. "We'll try our best to beat whoever comes to the final."

Asked how he thinks South Korea can win the title, Bell deadpanned, "Score more goals than the opponent."

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