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Draw sets up enticing matches

Chonburi: A new generation of Asian women’s football stars have learned their AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 opponents, after the competition’s official draw was held at Chonburi's Oakwood Hotel on Thursday.

Defending champions DPR Korea are set for a mouth-watering clash with fellow heavyweights Korea Republic after they were drawn alongside their East Asian neighbours, as well as China PR and Vietnam in Group B.

The September 22 clash between DPR Korea and Korea Republic will be a repeat of the 2017 final, where a starring performance from Kim Kyong-yong led DPR Korea to a 2-0 win

Elsewhere, Thailand will meet three-time winners Japan along with Australia and Bangladesh in Group A.

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The tournament’s host nation for the second successive edition, Thailand will headline the competition’s opening night with a fixture against Bangladesh, which will follow the tournament’s opening match between Japan and Australia on September 15.

The top two teams in each group will progress to the semi-finals, with the two eventual finalists – who will both go on to represent Asia at FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020 - to play off for the title on September 28.

With three titles apiece, DPR Korea and Japan are the most successful teams in the history of the competition, which will be held for the eighth time in 2019.