Westfield Matildas AFC Asian Cup draw: opponent dossier

The Westfield Matildas will start next year’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan as one of the tournament favourites given their incredible form under coach Alen Stajcic.

With stars like Sam Kerr, Steph Catley, Emily van Egmond and Katrina Gorry in phenomenal touch, Australia will take some stopping by their AFC rivals.

Ahead of Saturday night’s draw, we take a look at the other nations involved at the tournament to be held in April, 2018.

JORDAN

World Ranking: 50

Coach: Michael Dickey

Key player: Stephanie Al-Naber

Best finish: Group stage in 2014

How they qualified: Qualified automatically as tournament hosts.


CHINA

World ranking: 13

Coach: Sigurdur Ragnar Eyjolfsson

Key player: Wang Shuang

Best finish: Champions on eight occasions

How they qualified: qualified automatically after finishing third in 2014.

China's 'Lady Messi' Wang Shuang will be one to watch at the Asian Cup.
China's 'Lady Messi' Wang Shuang will be one to watch at the Asian Cup.

PHILIPPINES

World Ranking: 70

Coach: Currently without a head coach

Key player: Eva Madarang

Best finish: Group stage

How they qualified: Finished second in the group in qualifying.


THAILAND

World Ranking: 29

Coach: Nuengrutai Srathongvian

Key player: Orathai Srimanee

Best finish: Champions in 1983

How they qualified: topped their group ahead of Chinese Taipei.

Thailand last won the Women's Asian Cup in 1983.
Thailand last won the Women's Asian Cup in 1983.

VIETNAM

World ranking: 31

Coach: Mai Duc Chung

Key player: Huynh Nhu

Best finish: Group stage

How they qualified: won their group unbeaten ahead of Myanmar


JAPAN

World ranking: 8

Coach: Asako Takakura

Key player: Saki Kumagai

Best finish: Champions in 2014

How they qualified: qualified automatically as defending champions.

Japanese star Saki Kumagai.
Japanese star Saki Kumagai.

KOREA REPUBLIC

World ranking: 15

Coach: Yoon Duk-yeo

Key player: Ji So-yun

Best finish: Third place in 2013

How they qualified: won their group on goal difference (three goals) ahead of DPR Korea.

*NOTE: China is the only nation the Westfield Matildas can’t face in the Group Stage as both are in the same pot.

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This article was originally published on the Westfield Matildas website.
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