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2011 Women's World Cup


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Asia Qualifier

AFC Day 1: Hosts China held in opener


The 2010 AFC Women’s Asian Cup kicked-off yesterday with a 2-0 win for Australia against Vietnam, while host nation China played out a battling 0-0 draw against Korea Republic.

An experimental Australian line-up was made to work hard for the three points but a goal in each half saw off the valiant Vietnamese. Striker Leena Khamis scored with a header before Kyle Ledbrook slotted home from the penalty spot to double the advantage. The Matildas always looked likely winners with Khamis hitting the crossbar in the second half, however Vietnam too created several openings, most notably Thi Muon firing marginally over the bar for the south-east Asian Games champions.

The second match featured China enjoying strong support but the ever-improving Korea Republic had the better of the contest only to be forced to settle for a share of the spoils. South Korea took the match to their opponents from the opening whistle and when Lee Jang-Mi headed against the crossbar inside the first ten minutes, the tone of the match had been set. Incredibly the Koreans hit the frame of the goal on three more occasions with Kim Soo-Yun, Cho So-Hyun and Ji So-Yun all denied. China's injury-hit star forward Han Duan entered the fray in the second half but could not find a way to break the deadlock.

The 11-day tournament in Chengdu doubles as qualifying for the 2011 FIFA Women’s World CUP™ with the top three nations to earn passage to Germany.

AFC Day 2: Asian favourites start strongly


Korea DPR and Japan both commenced their push for a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ with comfortable victories in their respective opening Group A matches on Thursday. The new-look North Koreans defeated Thailand 3-0 while the Nadeshiko overwhelmed Myanmar 8-0 with both matches played in Chengdu, China.

The Koreans were two goals to the good in as many minutes with striker Jon Myong-Hwa headed home the opener inside the first minute, and then captain Kim Yong-Ae, who scored the winner in the final against China two years ago, added a second a minute later. The Thais battled stoically in defence throughout the match with goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing heavily worked before Jo Yun-Mi eventually sealed a deserved win with a goal 17 minutes from full time.

Japan who are still gunning for their first Asian title after four runners-up finishes, made a statement of intent with their comprehensive win against Myanmar. The Japanese scored at a steady rate throughout the contest leading by three at the interval, with two-time AFC Women’s Player of the Year Homare Sawa and Mami Yamaguchi ending the match with two goals apiece.

The 11-day AFC Women’s Asian Cup doubles as qualifying for Germany 2011 with the top three nations to earn passage to the 16-nation women’s showpiece tournament.

AFC Day 3: Aussies a step closer to Germany


Australia are one victory away from a berth at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ after winning through to the semi-finals of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup being played in Chengdu, China.

The Matildas defeated Korea Republic 3-1 on Friday which, combined with their win against Vietnam earlier in the week, has the team clear at the top of the group standings with six points. Despite a scoreless first half, the match was an open affair, and although creating more openings, the Australians had to wait until six minutes after the restart to score as defender Kim Carroll volleyed home from close range after a well-flighted corner. Further goals from Lisa De Vanna and substitute Sam Kerr sealed the win although Kang Sun-Mi scored a deserved consolation with the Koreans battling valiantly until the final whistle.

The second match of the evening saw host nation China PR improve dramatically on their opening scoreless encounter against Korea Republic to hit five unanswered goals past Vietnam. Li Danyang, Yuan Fan, Zhang Rui and captain Bi Yan all scored in the first half, while fit-again striker Han Duan got her name on the score sheet at the start of the second half to wrap up the win.

China now need just a draw in their final match against Australia tomorrow to stay ahead of Korea Republic, who must win handsomely against Vietnam to have any hope of a ticket to the semi-finals. The 11-day AFC Women’s Asian Cup doubles as qualifying for Germany 2011 with the top three nations to earn passage to the 16-nation women’s showpiece tournament.

AFC Day 4: Japan and North Korea class of Group A

Japan 4 - 0 Thailand

North Korea 2 - 0 Myanamar

AFC Day 5: China Steals the Group from Australia

China 1 - 0 Australia

South Korea 5 - 0 Vietnam

AFC Day 6: Final Group Matches

North Korea v. Japan

Myanamar v. Thailand

Knockout Stage (Thursday, May 27)

China (A1) v. Japan/North Korea loser (B2)

Australia (A2) v. Japan/North Korea winner (B1)

Winners to the Final, losers to the Bronze (May 30). Both finalists and the Bronze winner will represent Asia in Germany in 2011.

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Africa Qualifier

Champions kick off in style


Reigning African champions Equatorial Guinea sent out an emphatic message about their hopes of FIFA Women’s World Cup qualification as they began their bid for a place in the 2011 finals in Germany with a thumping 5-1 away win against Namibia.

The first leg victory all-but guarantees their presence in the finals of the African Women’s Championship in South Africa, which is due to take place in October with the hosts and seven winners from the knockout qualifying round.

Equatorial Guinea, who surprisingly won the continental title for the first time when they hosted the tournament two years ago, had a bye into the last stage but looked far from rusty as they demolished their hosts in Windhoek at the weekend. Tanzania also virtually booked their place in October’s tournament by beating Eritrea 8-1 at home in the first leg of their tie. The field of eight teams will also likely see multiple African champions Nigeria, Ghana, Mali and Cameroon, who won their away matches at the weekend.

Namibia took a shock lead within two minutes of the start in Windhoek, as Juliana Skrywer fired home from some 20 metres out, but the home team’s dreams were soon dashed as the African champions got into their stride and netted five times by half-time. Carolina Martin scored twice and captain Genoveva Anonghan netted a fine individual effort at the end of a mazy solo run.

Equatorial Guinea used their superior physical strength to great advantage and dominated off the set pieces, scoring two more before the break from Salimata Simpore and Gloria Chinasa. The visitors went for the kill in the second half but found Namibia’s defence much more resolute, although Chinasa missed an open goal from Simpore’s cross in the final stages.

Tanzania romp, Nigeria hang on

Striker Mwanahamisi Omary scored four goals and attack partner Asha Rashid grabbed herself a hat-trick in Tanzania’s rout over the Eritreans at Dar-es-Salaam’s Uhuru Stadium, where a fair sized crowd got full value for their entrance fee from the Twiga Stars.

Tanzania were ahead as early as the sixth minute and had scored four by half-time, including a long range drive from captain Sophia Mwasikili. Barely a minute before the final whistle, Eritrea got their consolation through Rahwa Solomon.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons, who had previously won every African Women’s Championship and are the only African side to have played in all of the previous FIFA Women’s World Cup tournaments, claimed a hard-fought 2-1 in Abidjan against Côte d'Ivoire. Perpetua Nkwocha opened the scoring in the 24th minute, and before the break, Ohadugha Onyinyechi doubled the lead.

But the Ivorians showed a fighting spirit in the second half and were given a standing ovation as they left the arena for their doughty efforts. They scored a consolation goal seven minutes from the end through substitute Koffi N’Guessan and then laid siege to the Nigerian goal in search of an equaliser that failed to materialise

Diana Ankromah scored for Ghana’s Black Queens in their 1-0 win over Senegal in Dakar. Both Mali and Cameroon also won away - Mali in Guinea and Cameroon over a Democratic Republic of Congo team that had high hopes for this year’s preliminaries after previously having qualified for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The only tie still in the balance is that between Algeria and Tunisia. The first leg ended 1-1 in Koula on Friday with hosts Algeria claiming a dramatic equaliser in the fourth minute of stoppage time at the end of the game. Chebbi Marwa put Tunisia ahead in the 73rd minute penalty, but Bouhenni Benziane equalised right at the end.

The return legs taken placed on the weekend of 4-6 June and the seven winners join South Africa at the final tournament with two places in next summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup at stake.

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The first group stages of UEFA qualifying are over half done and the group winners look to be:









The eight winners progress to the second group stage of qualifying from which four move on to the World Cup (UEFA 1-4) while UEFA 5 plays off against CONCACAF 3 for the wildcard.

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