Sydney: Australia head coach Tony Gustavsson wants the Matildas to play as many games against high-class opposition as possible to prepare his squad for the country’s co-hosting of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023.
The Australians were held to a 2-2 draw by Brazil on Tuesday in the second of back-to-back clashes with the South Americans, with Gustavsson’s side winning the opening encounter 3-1 on Saturday.
The Matildas will play two more friendlies next month against as-yet unannounced opponents before travelling for January’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, where they will be among the favourites to win the title.
Kuala Lumpur: The stage is set for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 draw in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thursday.
With the tournament expanded to 12 teams, the sides will be drawn into three groups for the Continental showpiece on January 20-February 6.
India qualified as hosts while Japan, Australia and China PR earned automatic spots based on their 2018 finishes. Eight teams advanced from the qualifiers. Join the-AFC.com as we look at the facts and stats of the 12 teams.
Bell seeks Korea Republic improvements after USA defeat
Minnesota: Korea Republic head coach Colin Bell will look to improve his players’ fitness ahead of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 after seeing his side handed a 6-0 loss by the United States just days after holding Vlatko Andonovski’s team to a goalless draw.
The result at the weekend snapped the United States’ run of 22 straight wins at home, but Bell’s side were punished in Minnesota on Tuesday by an American side that scored three times in the final five minutes against the tiring Koreans.
Resurgent Brazil hold Australia in friendly thriller
Sydney: Brazil’s women’s national team brought a six-game losing run against Australia to an end in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Western Sydney Stadium on Tuesday.
Goals from Clare Polkinghorne and Sam Kerr had Australia seemingly on the verge of a second victory in four days against the South Americans, but the visitors came storming back into the contest with both Erika and Debinha finding the net in the space of seven second half minutes.
The match continued Australia’s preparation for AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, which will kick off in less than three months on January 20.
Alen Stajcic takes charge of Philippines’ Malditas
Manila: Alen Stajcic has been announced as the new head coach of the Philippines women’s national team, replacing Marlon Maro on Tuesday.
Stajcic is regarded as one of Australia’s most accomplished coaches, having led the women’s national team from 2014 to 2019, where they secured runners-up finishes in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and were quarter-finalists in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and in the 2016 Olympics.
Qualifiers - Group J: Malaysia edge Mongolia to boost hopes, Thailand bounce back to defeat Laos
Ulaanbaatar: Muhammad Nur Azfar’s strike proved to be the difference as Malaysia edged Mongolia 1-0 to make it two wins out of two in Group J of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers on Thursday, while Thailand beat Laos 3-0 to revive their campaign.
The win places Malaysia top of the standings and they only need to avoid defeat against Thailand on Sunday to secure their place in the Finals, while Mongolia’s best hope now is to defeat Laos and advance as one of the four best runners-up.
Hwang, Kyogo and four Iranian stars: Vote for AFC International Player of the Week!
Kuala Lumpur: Some of Asia’s top players outside of the continent were at their brilliant best this week, lighting up league and continental competitions alike.
Team Melli’s European-based stars were unstoppable, with Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun both piling on the goals for their respective clubs, while Hwang Hee-chan and Kyogo Furuhashi continued their stunning early days in British football.
But who was Asia’s best player outside of the continent for the week just passed?
Study our list of contenders – based on performances from October 19 to 25 – and don’t forget to cast your vote.