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(2nd LD) S. Korea miss out on Olympic women's football after loss to China

All Headlines 21:50 March 07, 2016

(ATTN: UPDATES with more results)

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 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.

Australia and China have clinched the two spots with one match to spare. Australia defeated North Korea 2-1 later Monday for their fourth consecutive victory, and will finish no worse than second. China, with 10 points on three wins and a draw after beating South Korea, have also secured at least second place.

Pre-tournament favorite Japan, highest-ranked nation in the tournament at No. 4, were eliminated following China's win. Japan defeated Vietnam 6-1 for their first victory of the tournament.

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.

South Korean head coach Yoon Duk-yeo said the disappointing loss notwithstanding, his players still gave their best against China.

"We'll play hard until the last match," Yoon said of Wednesday's contest versus Vietnam. "Our players are really exhausted. I will send in players who haven't been getting into action so far."

jeeho@yna.co.kr
(END)

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