S. Korea qualify for top Asian women’s football tournament

SEOUL-- South Korea punched a ticket to the top women's football tournament in Asia with a resounding 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan in their final qualifying match on Thursday.

Forward Moon Mi-ra grabbed a brace and Choe Yu-ri chipped in another at Pakhtakor Stadium in Tashkent, helping South Korea secure the top seed in Group E in the qualifying event for the 2022 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup. The 18th-ranked South Korea also got an own goal from the 43rd-ranked Uzbekistan.

South Korea hammered Mongolia 12-0 last Friday to open Group E play. Only the top seeds from each of the eight groups will get to play at next year's Women's Asian Cup in India.

The own goal by Uzbekistan came in the 17th minute, when defender Nozima Kamoltoeva accidentally headed in a free kick taken by Ji So-yun.

Choe doubled South Korea's lead with a header six minutes into the second half. Moon had South Korea's final two goals -- in the 88th minute and then during injury time -- to round out the scoring.

The Women's Asian Cup will also serve as the final Asian qualifying stage for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. Five nations from the AFC will advance to the FIFA tournament, while two more teams will reach the intercontinental playoffs.

South Korea have played at each of the past two Women's World Cups. They reached the knockout stage for the first time in 2015 but were sent home from the group phase in 2019 following three straight losses.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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