Asian contenders finalise Uruguay 2018 squads
Kuala Lumpur: DPR Korea, Korea Republic and Japan have revealed their FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup squads ahead of the competition's kick-off in Uruguay next Tuesday.
The three sides - who qualified as the highest finishers at last year's AFC U-16 Women's Championship in Thailand - will look to extend an Asian stranglehold on the competition.
Four of the five previous editions of the competition have been won by Asian teams, and all three Asian qualifiers for Uruguay 2018 are former champions.
As current Asian and World Champions at this age group, all eyes will be on DPR Korea's Group C meetings with Germany, the United States and Cameroon, but Japan, runners-up in 2016, and Korea Republic, Asian finalists in Thailand, are both expected to be highly competitive.
Kim Kyong-yong (pictured above), the 2017 AFC U-16 Women's Championship MVP and top scorer, headlines the DPR Korea squad. The 16-year-old dominated last year's competition in Thailand, scoring nine goals in five matches, and earned selection for the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in France earlier this year.
Korea Republic's versatile skipper Cho Mi-jin (pictured above) also returns to the international scene, while Japan's squad features a number of familiar faces on the pitch, but a new one in the dugout, with U-20 Women's World Cup-winning head coach Futoshi Ikeda (pictured below) taking the reins for the Little Nadeshiko.
Japan, who lifted the trophy in 2014, will meet Brazil, Mexico and South Africa in Group B, while 2010 winners Korea Republic will face Spain, Canada and Colombia in Group D.
The Final will be held at Montevideo's Estadio Charrúa on December 1.
JAPAN: Shu Ohba, Chihiro Tomioka, Ibuki Nagae, Wakaba Goto, Sara Ito, Shino Matsuda, Chise Takizawa, Chiina Kamiya, Momo Nakao, Tomoko Tanaka, Haruka Osawa, Yuzuki Yamamoto, Warai Yoshizumu, Akane Nishino, Momoka Kinoshita, Ran Iwai, Shiori Fukuda, Misaki Morita, Chihiro Ishida, Yuria Ito
DPR KOREA: Yun Pyol, Kwang Un-sum, Ri Sin-ok, Pong Song-ae, Ri Kum-hyang, Ri Su-jong, Ri Su-gyong, Ryu Sol-song, Pang Un-sim,Kim Ryu-song, O Si-nae,Choe Kum-ok, Ko Kyong-hui, Kim Yun-ok, Yun Ji-hwa, An Kuk-hyang, Kim Kyong-yong, Yu Son-gum, Pak Il-gyong, Pak Hye-gyong, Ri Hyong-gyong
KOREA REPUBLIC: Kim Su-jeong, Kim Min-ji, Lee Jin, Ko Min-jung, Lee Su-in, An Se-bin, Hwang Ah-hyeon, Kim Ye-eun, Cho Mi-jin, Gwang Ro-yeong, Jang You-been, Chun Ga-ram, Kim Ji-mi, Kim Bo-min, Mun Ha-yeon, Lee Eun-young, Kim Bit-na, Jeon So-eun, Jo Ye-song, Noh Hye-yeon, Kang Ji-yeon