Chelsea FC Women players Sam Kerr and Ji So-Yun return from international duty after booking play-off places in the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with Australia and South Korea.
Australia and Kerr topped Group B and face Vietnam in the play-off round, while Ji and South Korea won their Group A games and will meet China PR in March.
The two winners of the play-offs will join home nation Japan as Asia’s representatives in the finals this summer.Due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the qualifier matches were moved to Sydney Australia. Forward Kerr and the Matildas got off to a strong start with a 7-0 victory against Chinese Taipei on Friday 7 February.Kerr came off the substitutes’ bench on the hour mark and added Australia’s sixth just three minutes after coming on when she found herself in acres of space to strike home.Arsenal’s Caitlin Foord bagged a first-half hat-trick, while Reign FC’s Steph Catley, Everton’s Hayley Raso and Katrina Gorry of Brisbane Roar added to the thumping.The Matildas second group game came three days later against Thailand and Kerr once again came off the bench with 30 minutes left to play.Her team comfortably beat their Thai opposition with the match ending in a 6-0 drubbing and although Kerr did not get her name on the scoresheet, the 26-year-old earned herself two assists.The two victories meant that only a draw was required for Australia’s final group match against China PR. The Matildas managed to net a late-gasp equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw and finish as group winners when Emily van Egmond fired home in added time. Kerr captained her side and played the full 90 minutes in yesterday’s match.
For midfielder Ji, she had two matches scheduled over a six-day period and netted in both matches for South Korea to emerge as Group A winners.
South Korea thrashed Myanmar 7-0 and Ji netted a brace, with her first goal coming after five minutes when she coolly converted from the spot. Her second goal and third of the game came in the 52nd minute which put South Korea well on their way to a triumph.Ji’s second game against group runners-up Vietnam resulted in a commanding 3-0 victory. The South Korean was denied in the 65th minute and 10 minutes later, the woodwork prevented Ji from scoring her team’s third.The Chelsea midfielder, however, was not to be denied a goal as she finally beat Vietnam’s keeper Tran Thi Hong Nhung with a superb long-range effort in the 83rd minute (as shown above) to seal a stylish win for her country.Attentions will now turn to club duty as Chelsea Women face Liverpool at Kingsmeadow for our fifth round Women’s FA Cup match on. The game kicks off at 12.30pm and tickets can be purchased here.The Blues will be running a subsidised supporters' coach on Sunday 23 February for our top of the table clash against Manchester City.