Seoul: The search for the new Korea Republic women’s national team head coach is over, with Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels boss Choi In-cheul appointed on a two-year deal on Thursday.
Choi, who replaces long-term coach Yoon Duk-yeo, will lead the national team for the second time, having also overseen their bronze medal-winning campaign at the 2010 Asian Games.
The two-year contract covers Korea Republic’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifying campaign, with Choi’s position to be re-evaluated prior to the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup and 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Seoul: Korea Republic’s preparations for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Qualifiers will include one of the biggest tests in the women’s game; back-to-back confrontations with reigning FIFA Women’s World Cup champions the United States.
The East Asians will face the world’s number one side in Charlotte and Chicago in October as part of the Americans’ five-match Victory Tour, celebrating the world title they won in Lyon last month.
The tour has been scheduled as part of Korea Republic’s run-in to December’s EAFF E-1 Championship in Busan, as well as their bid to reach Tokyo 2020, which begins early next year.
Decisive battles ahead as Tokyo 2020 reaches one-year countdown
Kuala Lumpur: With the countdown clock reaching the one-year milestone, elite athletes around the world are gearing up for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, but the footballers of Asia will face pivotal tests long before the Games begin.
Four Asian teams, including host Japan, will compete in the men’s football tournament, while Asako Takakura’s Asian champions will be one of three to take part in the women’s competition, making the battle to represent the Continent one with little margin for error.
Both competitions have already seen dramatic qualifying action in Asia. The Road to Tokyo’s women’s football tournament began in Asia on November 4, 2018, while the first men’s qualifiers got underway on March 22, 2019, with final tournaments to be staged in early 2020 to determine the Continent's representatives.
Qualifiers R2 - Group C: Chinese Taipei cruise into third round
Doha: Chinese Taipei cruised past Islamic Republic of Iran to seal their ticket to Round 3 of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers, while the Philippines ended their campaign on a high with seven goals against Palestine.
CHINESE TAIPEI 4-1 IR IRAN
A powerful first-half display ensured any pre-match nerves for Chinese Taipei quickly disappeared, as Kauzo Echigo's side reached the last eight with an emphatic victory at Grand Hamad Stadium.
Three teams were still in contention going into Matchday Three, but a draw or better was all Chinese Taipei needed, and they made life easy for themselves with a fast start, which removed any danger of final day disappointment.
Qualifiers R2 - Group B: Vietnam advance, Uzbekistan bow out in style
Tashkent: Uzbekistan produced a five-star performance against Hong Kong, but it was all to no avail as Vietnam grabbed the result they needed against Jordan to advance to the third round of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers on Tuesday.
VIETNAM 2-0 JORDAN
Vietnam clicked into gear in the second half to seal their place in Round 3, eventually seeing off a stubborn Jordan to claim top spot in Group B with a 2-0 win at Transportation Institute Stadium.
The Southeast Asians needed only a point to confirm their status as group winners, but they left the pitch with all three after Nguyen Thi Van and Hunyh Nhu scored within two minutes of each other to finally edge out Azzedine Chih's side in the second half.
Qualifiers R2 - Group A: Win Theingi Tun stars as Myanmar progress
Mandalay: A stunning hat-trick from Win Theingi Tun proved crucial as Myanmar advanced to the third round of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers on goal difference with a 3-3 draw against India, while Nepal signed off their campaign with a win over Indonesia on Tuesday.
MYANMAR 3-3 INDIA
Myanmar and India shared six goals in a thrilling 3-3 draw, but only one side was celebrating as the group hosts reached the final eight on goal difference.
Win Theingi Tun played a crucial role in Myanmar's progression, netting all three of their goals in a gripping, see-sawing encounter in which the lead changed hands three times.
Qualifiers R2 - Group C: Chinese Taipei on course, IR Iran keep hopes alive
Doha: Chinese Taipei produced a miraculous recovery from 2-0 down to beat Philippines 4-2, while Islamic Republic of Iran brought their campaign back to life with a 9-0 win over Palestine in Group C of Round Two of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers on Saturday.
PHILIPPINES 2-4 CHINESE TAIPEI
Chinese Taipei dramatically overturned a two-goal deficit to put themselves to within touching distance of the third round, and inflict what may be a crushing blow on the Philippines' Olympic hopes, winning a 4-2 epic at Grand Hamad Stadium.
The Philippines appeared to be marching to their most significant win in a year at 2-0 up, but the outstanding Michelle Pao scored a penalty to give Chinese Taipei hope, before Kazuo Echigo's charges took full control after half-time to claim a priceless win.