April 10 – China became the first nation to join hosts France in the 2019 Women’s World Cup with a 3-0 win over Philippines in a Group A game of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman, Jordan on Monday.
The 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup serves as the final stage of Asian qualification for the 2019 World Cup, with five of the eight teams involved due to go on to the tournament. China’s second win puts them into the semi-finals with a game to spare.
Hosts Jordan are the only team to have already been eliminated from the tournament (and World Cup qualifying), having lost their first two Group A games to Philippines (1-2) and Thailand (1-6).
All is still to play for in Group B, where South Korea face off against Japan and Vietnam against Australia in the second group games today. Japan head the group after beating Vietnam in theie opener, whilst Australia and South Korea drew.
Siggi Eyjolfsson, the coach of the Chinese national women’s soccer team, commented on the win saying: “We are proud to have qualified for the World Cup 2019 and to be the first Asian team to do so. We have played well at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and deserve to be among the best teams from Asia. We now hope to continue playing well at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and that we continue to win games.”
“It will be exciting to be one of the Asian teams competing against the best teams in the world in France in 2019.”
“As a coach you want to see your team improving each match, so now we must focus on our next match which is against Jordan,” he said. “We obviously want to finish this tournament well and do well for China.”
Whilst the China men’s team have struggled to find any success, China’s women have now reached the World Cup finals seven times (reaching the final in 1999 and the quarter finals four times) as well as having been crowned Asian Cup champions eight times.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup group standingsContact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org