The national men’s soccer team were eliminated from the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers after Indonesia beat them 3-0 on Monday, while the women’s national team are still in contention in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and are training in Bahrain to take on Laos next week.
Taiwan’s women have arrived in Bahrain, after boarding their flight on Saturday. They are training to compete in Group A of the qualifiers against Laos on Monday. They then face hosts Bahrain on Sunday next week.
This round of matches doubles as Asia’s first-stage qualifier for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is to be hosted by Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
Photo courtesy of CTFA
To qualify, they will need to finish in the top seven in Asia. The top five teams qualify automatically, while the other two would have to compete for a spot in a 10-team playoff tournament.
In the men’s match, Taiwan crashed out in the playoff round, losing 3-0 in their second match against Indonesia’s Tim Garuda, after an earlier 2-1 defeat against them. Both matches took place in Buriram, Thailand.
Taiwan were outplayed in both matches, as Tim Garuda, with their quicker pace, put Taiwan under constant pressure, exploiting their defensive errors.
On Monday, midfield dynamo Egy Maulana Vikri opened the scoring for Indonesia in the 26th minute, when he floated a cross from the edge of the penalty area, which bounced past Taiwan goalkeeper Derek Shih.
Although he might have been distracted by forward Dedik Setiawan trying to land a header while closely marked by defender Lin Cheng-yi, Shih should have done better and reacted too late.
Indonesia held onto their 1-0 advantage until halftime, while Taiwan tried to get back into the game.
Ten minutes into the second half, Tim Garuda captain Evan Dimas raced in from the right flank, sending in a low cross, which got behind Taiwan defender Chen Ting-yang, whose back-heel flick headed straight to Indonesia midfielder Ricky Kambuaya just inside the box, and he blasted the ball into roof of the net.
It was a pivotal goal, which killed off any realistic chance Taiwan had of advancing, but they did not give up, battling on in search of scoring chances.
Taiwan pressured the opposition, pushing into the final third, but their players seemed out of sync and could not find a goal as the clock ticked down.
Three minutes into added time, midfielder Witan Sulaeman latched onto a pass on the right wing, surging forward past a defender to fire home Indonesia’s third goal.
Indonesia advanced into the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
“We made changes for this match, looking to score a goal first in the first half... Our team had some early opportunities, but could not capitalize, and we could not sustain our offensive,” Taiwan interim manager Yeh Hsien-chung said. “Indonesia used their chances well, when our side made defensive errors, but that is all part of the game.”
“Alhough we lost the two matches, several young players have performed well, and they could become pillars for [the team] to build on,” Yeh said.
“It is good for these young players to gain international experience, which will help their development,” he added.
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