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Bayern Munich’s Saki Kumagai, Japan reach AFC Women’s Asian Cup Semifinals

With a big win over Thailand, Japan has coasted into the Semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.

Holland v Japan -International Friendly Women Photo by Laurens Lindhout/Soccrates/Getty Images

Japan is on to the Semifinals of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup after a big 7-0 win over Thailand. Despite by Yuika Sugasawa’s four goals, Japan only led 2-0 at halftime, but a huge second half pushed them over the edge into the dominant victory.

Bayern Munich’s Saki Kumagai wore the captain’s armband and went 90 minutes at centerback for Japan. She’s started every match so far in the tournament and has gone the distance in three of the four matches.

South Korea won 1-0 on a late goal from Ji So-yun to knock Australia out of the tournament. China overcame an early Vietnam goal to win 3-1. Finally, in the biggest shock of the round, the Philippines eliminated Chinese Taipei on penalties.

AFC also uses the Women’s Asian Cup as their World Cup Qualifying, so the four teams advancing to the semifinals have all now qualified for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. While Japan and China are old hats at qualifying for the World Cup, this is only the third time for South Korea and the first time ever for the Philippines. Australia already qualified as one of the hosts.

The two semifinal matches will be played on February 3.

Semifinals

China vs. Japan
South Korea vs. Philippines