Asian trio primed to soar in FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018
Kuala Lumpur: Even as the dust settles on the hugely successful AFC U-19 Women's Championship that concluded in Nanjing, China PR on Saturday, attention turns to the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in France next year.
Asian teams have always impressed in FIFA women's age-group tournaments and after two weeks of high octane action in the AFC U-19 Women's Championship, the Continent can look forward to another great run in France next year.
Japan, DPR Korea and China will represent Asia and the rest of the cast will be fully aware that the Asian teams cannot be underestimated.
Japan and DPR Korea played a gripping final on Sunday and in the end, were only separated by a moment of brilliance from Riko Ueki.
It was a world class goal from a hugely talented youngster and she will undoubtedly be one of the players Japan will depend on in their bid for the FIFA U-20 World Cup title.
Having finished third in the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2016 in Papua New Guinea, Japan will be aiming for the title in France 2018.
Saturday's AFC U-19 Women's Championship title win was at reigning FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup champions DPR Korea's expense and Japan, led by the astute Futoshi Ikeda, will be a team to watch in France 2018.
So will DPR Korea for their consistency at the women's age-group level is remarkable and they will definitely start preparing early to defend their world title.
Their quality is exceptional and with the likes of Sung Hyang-sim - winner of the AFC U-19 Championship 2017 Most Valuable Player award - in their ranks, DPR Korea will be confident of a successful title defence in France.
China too will be out to make a mark on the world meet.
They hardly put a foot wrong in the third-placed play-off win over Australia and they will be looking to build on that ahead of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018 next August.
Asia can surely look forward to a successful FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018.