China and Australia seal Rio Olympic soccer spots as former world champions Japan miss out

China beat South Korea 1-0 to book their ticket to the Rio Olympics along with Australia, while 2012 silver medallists Japan are eliminated

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2016, 10:38am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 March, 2016, 2:42pm

The Chinese women’s national football team beat South Korea 1-0 and booked their ticket to the Rio Olympics along with Australia on Monday, while 2012 silver medallists Japan were eliminated.

I would like to congratulate the Chinese team. They deserve this victory. But our players did the best they could
Yoon Duk Yeo, South Korea head coach

The Korean team was in desperate need of a win to keep their qualification hopes alive, while for China a victory would hand them an advantage that could only be surpassed by Australia.

In the 43rd minute, the deadlock was broken by China’s Wang Shanshan, who netted a cross from Wang Shuang to make it 1-0.

In the second half, the Korean team pressed to level the score, and the game became more intense as players from both sides picked up yellow cards.

In the 82nd minute, Chinese players queued up successive attacks to make it 2-0 but failed as the Korean defence held firm.

READ MORE: Hong Kong women lose 2-0 to Guangdong in inaugural soccer Interport

The game ended 1-0 giving China the three points and eliminating any hope for the Koreans of qualifying for Rio.

“We won and got three points today. It’s the best result that we could expect,” said Wang Shanshan after the game. “We were a little tired today, maybe because it was the fourth game. But we performed better.”

South Korea’s head coach Yoon Duk Yeo said: “I would like to congratulate the Chinese team. They deserve this victory. But our players did the best they could.”

We won and got three points today. It’s the best result that we could expect
Wang Shanshan

Later, Australia beat North Korea 2-1. With 12 points and 10 points respectively, Australia and China advance to Rio.

READ MORE: China’s soccer-mad President Xi Jinping’s passion for ‘the beautiful game’ sparked while a child

Michelle Heyman and Katrina Gorry scored for Australia, who were undefeated in qualifying and will make their first Olympic appearance since Athens in 2004.

Japan, the 2011 World Cup champions and 2015 runners-up, beat Vietnam 6-1 but failed to qualify for their fourth straight Olympics.

Associated Press, Xinhua