A cash reward of US$4.8 million has been given to the Chinese women’s football team after they claimed a record ninth AFC Asian Cup title in Navi Mumbai on Sunday. The “Steel Roses” completed a dramatic comeback to beat South Korea 3-2 in the final, overcoming a 2-0 deficit in the first half before scoring the winning goal in stoppage time for the prestigious trophy they last won in 2006. While cheered by millions of the country’s football fans, who watched their men’s side limp out of the Fifa 2022 World Cup qualifiers on Lunar New Year’s Day, head coach Shui Qingxia’s side earned big incentives for the honour. As the newly crowned continental champions, the Chinese team walked away with a purse of US$1 million offered by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). China stage incredible comeback to win AFC Women’s Asian Cup It is the first time the regional governing body has put up prize money for the women’s tournament. But more prize money will come from the country as Chinese fans have been longing for success in football. Jack Ma and his Alibaba Group, who in 2019 announced US$145 million ( 1 billion yuan) to support women’s football for the next 10 years, said they would allocate an additional US$1.5 million in prize money to the players for their success, with another $473,000 for coach Shui and her back room staff. The money from Alibaba, owner of the South China Morning Post , would be used in four major areas, according to reports in the mainland, including improving the national women’s team standard, injury security protection and retirement scheme for players, technical development and coach education and promotion of junior women’s football development across the country. Chinese football fans use women’s Asian Cup triumph to mock men’s team As China celebrated their historic victory, midfielder Wang Shanshan was named Most Valuable Player of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, while Zhu Yu was named Best Goalkeeper for the tournament. Wang had been a consistent performer throughout the campaign, which saw China lift the trophy for the first time in 16 years. “This is the perfect moment for the China PR team after many years of waiting,” Wang said. “This is my first AFC Women’s Asian Cup title and I want to thank all the coaching staff and the players for a job well done. “Winning the MVP award is very important to me. It reflects all the efforts we have put in these past years. I couldn’t have done it without the help from my teammates.” Zhu put in a similarly stunning performance over the course of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup, and was instrumental for China conceding just five goals. Meanwhile team sponsor Mengniu, the Chinese dairy company, announced they would offer Steel Roses a cash prize of US$1.5 million, bringing the total cash reward to US$4.8 million. With the regional cup success, the commercial value of some top players such as Wang, team captain Wang Shanshan, Zhao Lina and Wu Haiyan will also increase, bringing them more advertising and sponsorship opportunities.