Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Osaka: Australia and China may have already secured the crucial top two places at the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 qualifiers, but top spot is still at stake as the Brazil-bound pair meet at Nagai Stadium on Wednesday.
Australia secured a return to the Olympic Games for the first time since 2004 after maintaining their perfect record in Osaka with a 2-1 win over DPR Korea on Monday.
And the win also confirmed China’s qualification after Bruno Bini’s side had earlier recorded a 1-0 win over Korea Republic.
“Asia is the strongest confederation in women’s football and both ourselves and China head to Rio with strong medal chances,” said Australia coach Alen Stajcic.
“We’ve achieved our first goal of qualification, but that’s just the beginning; we’re viewing this match with China as the next step on our path to an Olympic gold medal.”
Australia currently top the table by two points ahead of also unbeaten China.
“We played against Australia in a tournament in Chongqing last year and they’re a good team, very serious and organised; there’s a big difference between Australia now and three or four years ago,” said coach Bini having led China to a first Olympic Games appearance since hosting the 2008 edition.
“Then, they relied a lot on their physical capacities, but now they have three or four very good players with great technique who have really improved the team.”