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Asia’s future stars ready to shine at Thailand 2019

Kuala Lumpur: Reigning world champions Japan will head the cast list at the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship as Asia’s top eight youth sides, begin their quest for Continental glory in Chonburi, Thailand on Sunday.

Raising the stakes are the three places up for grabs at next year’s FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup where Asian teams have enjoyed remarkable success in recent years with DPR Korea clinching their second title in 2016 before Japan claimed the coveted crown in France last year.

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The AFC U-19 Women’s Championship has been a catalyst for success with as many as 90 of the 115 players (78.3%) graduating from this event for the five AFC teams who took part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said: “This tournament continues to produce more top-class players and world champions and the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship demonstrates our ambitions to provide the ultimate stage for our players and teams.

“On behalf of the AFC and the Asian football community, I would like to wish all the teams the very best of luck and I have no doubts that the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship will showcase the incredible quality and talent of our brightest stars in the Continent.”

World champions at the U-17 and U-20 levels in 2016, DPR Korea will open their Group A campaign against Australia at 4:00pm (local time) in a repeat of the semi-finals two years ago when the East Asians showcased their dominance with a 3-0 victory, but the Young Matildas will rely on the expertise of coach and former Matilda, Leah Blayney, to lead their title charge.

First-time hosts Thailand kick start their campaign against regional rivals Vietnam three hours later and will be hoping for a lift from the home support as they look to improve on their fourth-place finish in 2004.

AFC U-19 Women's Championship 2019 Thailand

The exciting opening action continues on Monday when the tournament’s most successful side, five-time and defending champions Japan face Myanmar who return to the tournament after six years, before China PR, champions in 2006, battle 2013 victors Korea Republic in what promises to be another epic battle for supremacy.

Follow all the excitement from the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 here as brings you the latest features, reports, videos and up-to-date coverage.

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