Taiwan, Thailand play to a draw in preview of Olympic qualifiers

Taipei-Taiwan's national women's football team drew with Thailand 1-1 in an international friendly in Taipei on Friday in a preview of an Olympic qualifying match to be played in February 2020.

Taiwan, which reached the third round of the Olympic qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020 with seven consecutive wins in the first two rounds, put on a show for the home fans by dominating play but could not find the finishing touch needed to pull off the victory.

Thailand opened the scoring just before halftime when Thai forward Rattikan Thongsombut sent a drive from the left edge of the penalty area over the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Cheng Ssu-yu (???), who was caught six yards off the goal line.

Taiwan equalized seven minutes into the second half when forward Chen Yen-ping (???) took a cross from Lin Hsin-hui (???) and one-touched the ball into the left corner of the net.

Both sides then picked up the pace in search of a winning goal. Repeated attacks led by Taiwan midfielders Pao Hsin-hsuan (???) and Zhou Li-ping (???) put some pressure on the visitors but to no avail, and the game ended in a draw.

Thai forward Suchawadee Nildhamrong said her team has played against Taiwan three times in the recent past and the experience gained could help in February.

"I personally don't think that we played our best the three times we've played them, so hopefully we'll play better (in the future)," she said.

Taiwan, Thailand, China, and Australia are in one of the two Olympic qualifying groups and play each other once between Feb. 3 and 9.

The top two finishers in the round robin will then play the top two finishers in the other group, consisting of North Korea, South Korea, Vietnam, and Myanmar, to determine the two teams that qualify for the Olympics.

Taiwan will play Thailand on Feb. 9.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel