SLIGHTLY ALTERED WOMEN’S FOOTBALL QUARTER-FINALS LIKELY TO AVOID KOREA-JAPAN CLASH

The Hangzhou Asian Games women’s football quarter-final draw, which was supposed to be a ‘group winner-takes-all’ affair, has been slightly changed, raising the possibility that the Korea-Japan match could be postponed .According to the Asian Games women’s football quarter-final bracket posted on the tournament website on the 18th, the winner of Group E will face either the second-placed team from Group D or the first-placed team from Group C. The winner of Group D will play the winner of Group C or the second-placed team from Group E for a place in the quarter-finals. The Hangzhou Asian Games women’s football group stage has been divided into five groups, with three teams each in Groups A to C and four teams each in Groups D and E. The five best-placed teams from each group and the three best-placed teams from each group will meet in the quarter-finals. The original draw called for the winner of Group D and the winner of Group E to meet in the quarter-finals. This meant that Colin Bell’s South Korean team would face women’s football powerhouse Japan, who were expected to finish top of Group D, in the quarter-finals .This is because the two teams in Group D and E respectively are very likely to top their respective groups on objective merit. However, with the shuffling of the brackets, the chances of facing Japan in the quarter-finals have dropped significantly. If South Korea and Japan finish the tournament at the top of their respective groups, a Korea-Japan matchup in the final is possible .The Korea Football Association said it had not been informed by the Asian Games Organising Committee about the changes to the bracket. “No official letter or notification has been sent to the association and the teams regarding the rescheduling of the tournament,” said an association official. The federation claims it received a file from the organisers on 8 August outlining the rescheduling of all sports at the Asian Games, but the document made no mention of the football rescheduling .Instead, the guidelines received the same day printed a revised bracket with no mention of the rescheduling .In the absence of any notice of the football rescheduling, he says he didn’t think the brackets had changed and didn’t check the new brackets. Bell’s game plan is also likely to change. Previously, the coach had questioned the way the Asian Games was organised, expecting to face Japan in the quarter-finals. “If you finish first in your group, you play Japan,” he told reporters at the National Training Centre (NFC) in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, on May 5, “I don’t understand. I don’t know why you have to play the first place. It’s complicated. Let’s see what 스포츠토토존 happens,” he said with a determined expression.

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