The Women’s Asian Cup, which is still going on and is currently in its semi-final stage, has been entertaining. The mismatch is unsettling to behold, with Australia crushing Indonesia 18-0. Sam Kerr, the Australian captain who plays for Chelsea, scored five goals in the same game. In the same match, she also surpassed Tim Cahill to become Australia’s all-time leading goal scorer.
Unfortunately, Sam Kerr’s Australia was eliminated in the tournament’s quarterfinals. South Korea’s 87th-minute goal was enough to send the Kangaroos packing.
The disparity between teams can also be seen elsewhere. China defeated Iran by a score of 7-0. Chinese Taipei did something similar against Iran once more. They triumphed by a score of 5-0. Japan won by a scoreline of 7-0 in the quarterfinals defeating Thailand. All these big victories are due to the fact that the losing sides are relatively new in the game.
China, South Korea, Australia, and Japan are the more experienced sides. They as a footballing nation are more developed compared to others. These nations unquestionably are the superpowers in men’s Asian football. That has transpired down to the women’s game as well. It is evident that experience does matter in the end as 3 of the 4 nations mentioned above have made it to the semi-final stage. The Philippines is the 4th nation.
This competition is being held in India across 3 venues in 3 cities. With no crowds and only 3 stadiums, the reasons for that can be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic. Grievously though, the hosts India had a COVID outbreak within their camp after the first match. As a result, India was unable to field the required number of players in order for the match versus Chinese Taipei to take place. COVID was once again the country’s adversary, and they suffered as a result.
Despite the fact that they were the hosts, India had to withdraw from the competition completely. To make matters worse, India’s forced withdrawal from the event effectively ended their ambitions of qualifying for the World Cup.
With the hosts having exited early and other nations being knocked out as the competition progressed. We are down to 4 nations. As mentioned before – China, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines are in the semi-finals. Which also means they can book the tickets for the world cup.
The tournament started in 1975 (47 years ago). since its inception, China has won the tournament a record eight times. With 7 titles coming consequently from 1986 – 1999. During this period the competition saw no other winner but China. On the other hand, Japan is looking for a hattrick of titles having won the two previous editions. Which country will take home the trophy only time will tell.
Until then, we can revel in the fact that football is moving beyond its traditional regions of Europe and South America and is establishing a foothold in Asia. This tournament is also breaking down gender stereotypes in the game. An international football event for Asian women, conducted in Asia. This competition is the living, breathing proof of how far football has progressed, and we can all be very proud of that.
No matter which nation takes home the cup from here on, in an intangible sense football has already won.