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China and NKorea sweep into Asian Cup semis

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 30 May 2008

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Asian heavyweights China and North Korea took their places in the Women's Asian Cup semi-finals Friday with comprehensive wins over Thailand and Vietnam respectively.

Qu Feifei scored twice for China as they inched closer to defending their title with a 5-1 victory while the Koreans, who won the tournament in 2001 and 2003, swept past the host nation 3-0.

They play each other to determine who tops Group A on Sunday.

China dominated their game and went in front after 10 minutes when Bi Yan's corner from the left was headed back across goal and Liu Sa was on hand to stab home at the back post.

They kept the pressure on and another two quick goals sealed the match.

Firstly, Liu broke free and although her shot was well saved, Qu was on hand to slot in the rebound.

Xu Yuan then found space on the right-hand side of the box and drilled a low shot into the bottom corner to give China a 3-0 lead with just 21 minutes gone.

Thailand grabbed one back in the 37th minute through Nisa Romyen but the second half belonged to China with Qu bagging a second and Pu Wei putting it beyond doubt with four minutes left.

North Korea stormed into the semis with two goals from Ri Kum-Suk and another from Ri Un-Gyong.

They took the lead after 11 minutes when Nguyen Thi Ngoc Ahn collided with Kim Yong-Ae in the box and Ri Un-Gyong calmly converted the penalty in front of a partisan crowd at Thong Nat Stadium.

The Koreans pressed forward but found it hard to break down a solid Vietnamese defence, before inevitably extending their lead in the 39th minute.

Om Jong-Ran whipped a ball in from the left and it was headed home from close range by an unmarked Ri Kum-Suk.

Ri collected her second after 67 minutes, producing a quality diving header that flew in at the near post from Kim Kyong-Hwa's corner.

In Group B, Taiwan need three points against Japan while Australia are up against South Korea on Saturday.

The semi-finals are on June 5 with the final three days later.

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