Taiwan’s women’s soccer team took a step closer to next year’s Asian Cup in Japan and the 2015 World Cup in Canada after they edged India 2-1 on Thursday in a qualifier in Al-Ram, West Bank, to set up a showdown with Myanmar today.
South Asian Games gold medalists India fell behind at the Faisal al-Husseini Stadium when midfielder Yu Hsiu-chin fired Taiwan into the lead with three minutes of the first half left to play.
India coach Anadi Barua’s ploy of playing deep and attacking on the counter paid off as Taiwan, who scored six against Palestine in their opener, found it hard to breach India’s defense and Sasmita Malik’s free-kick in the 53rd minute got her team back in the game.
However, the three-time Asian Cup winners had the final say when Lai Li-chin scored the winner with eight minutes left.
In the earlier match, Yee Yee Oo scored six as Myanmar crushed hosts Palestine 9-0 to leapfrog Taiwan at the top of the Group D standings on goal-difference, with both teams on six points.
Palestine were looking to avoid another heavy defeat after they shipped three goals in five minutes just before halftime in their 6-0 loss to Taiwan, but the hosts conceded three in seven first-half minutes, before Yee Yee Oo netted five in the final quarter of an hour.
Midfielder Khin Moe Wa broke the deadlock in the 17th minute and added her second and Myanmar’s third in the 26th minute, two minutes after Yee Yee Oo had bagged her first.
Palestine held out until the 67th minute when substitute Margret Marri made it 4-0, before Yee Yee Oo went on the rampage to complete the rout.
Palestine face India today in Al-Ram in a match to decide who picks up the Group D wooden spoon, before Taiwan and Myanmar face off, and with a draw good enough for Myanmar due to their superior goal-difference, coach Yen Shih-kai’s players know only a win will be good enough to advance.