China PR proud to have sealed FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 spot
Amman: Head coach Siggi Eyjolfsson has revealed that both he and his China PR side are proud to have sealed their spot at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup following Monday’s 3-0 win over the Philippines which confirmed their place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup’s final four as well as at France 2019.
Li Ying’s brace and a superb Ma Jun effort secured a second successive group stage victory for China, underlining their position at the top of Group A and leaving Eyjolfsson to reflect on a job well done as the Steel Roses became the first side other than France to qualify for next year's global extravaganza.
“We are proud to have qualified for the World Cup 2019 and to be the first Asian team to do so,” declared the Icelandic tactician.
“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.”
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Commenting on the game which saw his side progress, Eyjolfsson added: “I thought we played well as a team today, that we created many scoring opportunities and that we kept the ball well. We allowed the Philippines very few chances of their own.
“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. We obviously want to finish this tournament well and do well for China.”
Meanwhile, Philippines head coach Rabah Benlarbi admitted he was disappointed with the result, even though the Southeast Asians can still match the achievements of their Chinese counterparts with a win against Thailand on Thursday.
“We are a little disappointed with the result because we really did not start the game well,” he said.
“We made some mistakes which allowed China to score two goals and after that I think we found it hard to find a way back into the game.
“It is probably fair to say that China were a better team than us today, but there are some positives we can take from the game, in as much as we tried to react in the second half and we continued to press China until the very last minute.
“Of course, the game against Thailand is now a very important one for us. We have some tired players, but we will try to recover over the next two days and be fully prepared for the match.”