China fail to qualify for Women's World Cup for first time (2)

08:38, May 31, 2010      

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China could have seized a World Cup berth if they claimed a victory in the semifinal against reigning champions DPR Korea.

However, DPR Korea proved themselves too strong for the hosts as they edged China 1-0 with the unique goal on 108 minutes. Midfielder Kim Kyong Hwa pounced on the loose ball to break the deadlock after her teammate's shot was rejected.

With the win, the reigning champions secured the World Cup berth with another finalist Australia, who edged Japan 1-0 to reach the final.

Despite finishing the fourth of the Asian Cup, China were quite unconvincing and only escaped with a scoreless draw against South Korea after their opponents hit the woodwork four times in the group match.

Although knocked out in the group stage, South Korea showed their strength in the Asian Cup and they could have defeated China if they were luckier.

China only claimed two victories at the Asian Cup, a 5-0 win against bottom-placed Vietnam and a 1-0 win over Australia who had already qualified for the semifinals at that time.

It becomes more and more difficult for China to make the top three of Asia as Australia, Japan, DPR Korea and South Korea are all stronger than her.

It will also be hard for China to qualify for the London Olympic Games in 2012 since Asia only have two berths for the Games.

However, there are still something good as some young players showed good potentials, like Zhang Rui, Li Danyang, Sun Ling and so on.

"I feel we can see that the future of women's football in China is good." Shang said. "The Chinese Football Association concentrates a lot on women's football. I believe with their continued support, the Chinese women's football will continue to develop."

Wei Di, president of the CFA (China Football Association), expressed his confidence about the Chinese women's football.

"I am sorry that China failed to qualify for the World Cup and the CFA are responsible of it," he said. "We will deal with it seriously. Although some Asian teams are stronger than us, I think we can catch up with them after three or five years."

Source: Xinhua (By Sportswriter Li Jia)
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