AFC President sends best wishes to world-class Asian teams in France
Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has wished the five AFC teams the very best in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 ahead of Friday’s 9:00pm (local time) kick off at the Parc des Princes as Asia’s representative’s - Australia, China PR, Japan, Korea Republic and Thailand - look to continue the Continent’s dominance on the world stage.
The AFC President said: “We wish the five Asian teams taking part in the FIFA Women’s World Cup the best of luck. The honour of playing the hosts in the opening match on Friday again falls to an Asian team – so good luck to Korea Republic.
“Our women’s teams are ranked as some of the best in world football. They exemplify our ambitions through the AFC’s Vision and Mission to ensure Asia succeeds on the biggest stages, and I am confident that our five representatives will make a great impression on the tournament.”
Asian teams will be hoping to reach their fourth final in eight editions since the inaugural tournament in China PR in 1991, with scenes of Japan’s famous victory over U.S.A. in 2011 still etched in the hearts and minds of millions of passionate fans across the Continent.
In a repeat of that final four years later, the Nadeshiko were unfortunate not to have clinched their second successive title in Canada and Asako Takakura’s charges will be looking to stake their claim to the title when they take on Argentina in their Group D opener on June 10 at the Parc des Princes.
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China PR, who came agonisingly close to the title in 1999, only to fall bravely to host U.S.A. on penalties in the final, will face tough oppositions in two-time former champions Germany at the Roazhon Park in Rennes on June 8 at 3:00pm.
2017 AFC Women’s Player of the Year and 2018 Best FIFA Women's Player nominee Samantha Kerr will be in action a day later as the Matildas set their sights on a winning start against Italy in Group C at the Stade du Hainaut in Valenciennes.
Thailand, who made their debut in the last edition, will face a formidable contest against the tournament’s most successful side U.S.A. in Group F on June 11 at the Stade Auguste-Delaune in Reims.
Cho So-hyun and Ji So-yun are among a long list of Asian megastars poised to take the tournament by storm and will be looking to assert their influence as Korea Republic take on Nigeria in their second Group A match on June 12 at the Stade des Alpes in Grenoble.
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