China ready to go against ‘best in the world’ after becoming first Asian team to qualify for Women’s World Cup
Win over the Philippines at Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan sees them through to France 2019 and Steel Roses’ coach has achieved his first goal
China have qualified for the Women’s World Cup in France next year after beating the Philippines at the Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan.
The 3-0 victory, which came on the back of beating Thailand 4-0 in their opening game last Friday, sees them become the first Asian team to qualify for the finals.
China coach Siggi Eyjolfsson revealed his pride at the achievement in the post-match press conference: “We are proud to have qualified for the World Cup 2019 and to be the first Asian team to do so.”
The Icelandic coach suggested that his side have to be considered among the best in the region.
“We have played well at the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and deserve to be among the best teams from Asia.”
China are 17th on the Fifa rankings, the fifth best in Asia behind Australia (6) North Korea (10), Japan (11) and South Korea (16).
The coach is looking forward to the challenge: “It will be exciting to be one of the Asian teams competing against the best teams in the world in France in 2019.”
Eyjolfsson took over last November tasked with getting the team to France 2019.
He told Fifa.com at the time that “this is a team with great potential” and they can deliver on that by winning a ninth AFC Asian Cup, their first since 2006.
He stated that his goals for the team were to get them to qualify for France 2019, rise up the Fifa rankings and to get China ready for the Olympic football tournament at Tokyo 2020.
He has achieved the first of these and will see a jump in the next rankings if China progress in Jordan.
The Steel Roses play the hosts in their final group game on Thursday.
Eyjolfsson knows what he expects of his players. “As a coach you want to see your team improving each match, so now we must focus on our next match, which is against Jordan. We obviously want to finish this tournament well and do well for China.”
The Steel Roses were runners-up in the 1999 Women’s World Cup and the 1996 Olympics.