Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

China qualifies for Rio Olympic women's soccer tournament

China fixed a berth for the Rio Olympic women's soccer tournament here on Monday with one game remaining in the six-team round-robin Asian Zone qualifications.

China, 17th in the world rankings, had failed to get the London 2012 ticket and was not a favorite in the Rio 2016 qualifications as compared to former world champions and hosts Japan, traditional powerhouses Australia and DPR Korea.

Only the top two finishers of the six teams, which also groups South Korea and Vietnam, will represent Asia to attend the Rio Olympics this summer.

After beating Vietnam 2-0, drawing DPR Korea 1-1, upsetting Japan 2-1, China beat South Korea 1-0 this afternoon, collecting 10 points to stand second in the standings. DPR Korea garnered five points from four matches, standing third.

Taming DPR Korea 2-1 here this evening, Australia won 12 points from four matches, standing first with another ticket to Rio.

Although Japan crushed Vietnam 6-1 this evening, their flood of goals came too late to close the huge point gap. The pre-tournament top favorite with highst-ranking at No. 4 are standing fourth with four points, followed by South Korea with two points and Vietnam nil.

China coach Bruno Bini, a Frenchman who took the rein last year, told reporters,"Before coming to Japan for the qualification, I told the Chinese Football Association my plan to get five points in the first three matches (beat Vietnam, tie DPR Korea and Japan). Fortunately, we took seven points."

"Before today's duel against South Korea, I told my players not to squander the advantage we had already got. Go and win!" Bini said.

South Korea, 18th in the world rankings, played all out to try to grasp their last hope from the very beginning of today's duel. However, they could not catch the chances, including opponents' unforced errors, due to lack of speed.

South Korea coach Yoon Duk-yeo said, "China deserved the win today, and we'll play hard until the last match. Our players are really exhausted. I will send in players who haven't been getting into action so far in the last game against Vietnam."

Forward Wang Shanshan gifted China the winning goal with a close-range header on midfielder Wang Shuang's left cross in the 43rd minute.

Wang Shuang said after the game, "I practise this kind of cross a lot in training and I am so glad that my first cross in today's game helped Wang Shanshan score."

Wang Shanshan said, "Frankly speaking, our form today was not as good as that in the game against Japan. We felt a bit tired as this was the fourth game in eight days. But we managed to fight to the end."

As to her goal today, Wang Shanshan, who also scored crucial goal for China in the 2015 Canada World Cup, said, "The atmosphere in the qualification is quite different with that in the World Cup. I hope to score more goals at Rio 2016."

China will take on Australia on Wednesday, which is a no-pressure game for both.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend