Hasegawa and Japan advance into Semi-final of Women's Asian Cup

Australia bowed out of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup on Sunday morning after a narrow 1-0 defeat to South Korea in Pune. 

With Tameka Yallop isolating due to contracting Covid-19, Mackenzie Arnold was the only West Ham United representative in Matildas squad, with the goalkeeper lining up on the bench. 

In a very tight affair, former Hammers midfielder Cho So-hyun had the opportunity to give South Korea the lead just before the half-time whistle, but she blazed her penalty over the crossbar. 

Both sides struggled to get shots on target in the match, with only five shared between the two sides – but crucially, Chelsea forward Ji So-yun found the back of the net with an absolutely superb long range effort with only three minutes of normal time remaining to send her country through to the semi-finals. 

Elsewhere, Yui Hasegawa played 45 minutes for Japan as they hammered Thailand 7-0 in Navi Mumbai. 

The midfielder, who celebrated her 25th birthday yesterday was withdrawn at half-time alongside Arsenal forward, Mana Iwabuchi with the score at 2-0. 

Yuika Sugasawa scored four goals in the contest, whilst Hinata Miyazawa, Rin Sumida and Riko Ueki also bagged goals to send Japan through to the semi-finals. 

Japan will now face either China or Vietnam as they look to defend their crown. 

The semi-finals will take place on Thursday 3 February 2022.