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S. Korea miss out on Olympic women's football after loss to China

All Headlines 18:41 March 07, 2016

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea missed out on Olympic women's football after a 1-0 loss to China in the Asian qualifying tournament on Monday.

At Nagai Stadium in Osaka, Japan, Wang Shanshan headed in the match's lone goal in the 42nd, as China moved a step closer to qualifying for their fifth Olympics. South Korea remained winless with two draws and two losses.

Though there's one match remaining in the qualification, South Korea will not get one of two Asian spots for the women's football tournament at the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics in August. South Korea have never competed in Olympic women's football, first staged in 1996.

In addition to South Korea and China, Australia, Japan, North Korea and Vietnam are competing for the two tickets in their round-robin competition. China momentarily moved to first place with 10 points on three wins and one draw. Australia, which have won their first three matches, will face North Korea later Monday, and the Matildas will clinch an Olympic berth with a win.

Pre-tournament favorite Japan, highest-ranked nation in the tournament at No. 4, have also been eliminated following China's win. Japan, winless so far with one draw and two losses, will take on Vietnam later Monday.

Heading into Monday, South Korea needed to win both of their remaining matches to have a shot at qualifying for their first Summer Games. They had their first serious chance in the 15th, when Lee Min-a missed her target off a rebound following a Jung Seol-bin strike.

At the half-hour mark, Wang Shanshan had a one-on-one against goalkeeper Kim Jung-mi but misfired. Wang solved Kim in the 42nd when she soared over defender Hwang Bo-ram to head in the first goal.

South Korea dominated possession in the second half, but it wasn't until the 73rd that they threatened to score. Jung Seol-bin received a looping cross near the top of the arc and fired one from inside the box, only to miss the top right-hand corner.

On the other end, Jeon Ga-eul took a free kick from left of the arc in the 84th but shot it right at goalkeeper Zhao Lina.

South Korea will close out the qualifying tournament against Vietnam on Wednesday, also in Osaka.

jeeho@yna.co.kr
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