Author Topic: 2007 Women's World Cup Preview - China PR  (Read 995 times)

Offline David

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2007 Women's World Cup Preview - China PR
« on: September 05, 2007, 04:36:22 PM »
As hosts of the 2007 Women's World Cup, China is expecting great things from its squad.

The team got off to a good start, edging East Asian rivals Korea DPR in Australia to win the AFC Asian Cup in qualifying last year even though its World Cup place was already assured as hosts of the event. It was the team's first title in six years, making the Chinese team's goal of getting to at least the semifinal stage of the tourney realistic, considering the advantage they have of playing on their home fields.

"My goal is to take the team to the last four," Marika Domanski-Lyfors said after being unveiled as China coach at a press conference in March. "I know that we have a lot of hard work to do in preparation for the tournament, but I believe we can do our utmost to achieve our aim."

The Swedish Domanski-Lyfors became the first-ever foreign coach of the China women's team after being appointed after the team's disappointing winless effort in the Algarve Cup coupled with heart problems for former coach Ma Liangxing early this year. The team went four months without a coach before Domanski-Lyfors was called upon by the Chinese Football Association.

China has had its ups and downs in Women's World Cup history, failing to reach the final four in the inaugural tournament in 1991 before finishing in fourth place in Sweden in 1995. Four years later, they were runners-up in the USA in 1999 to the hosts, after losing 5-4 on penalty kicks. China was eliminated by Canada in the quarterfinals in the USA in 2003.

The 2007 team boasts speedy striker Han Duan, who has been on the international scene for seven years, earning her first cap at the age of 16. The 23-year-old will get a helping hand from teenage strike-partner Ma Xiaoxu while goalkeeper Zhang Yanru will be a steady influence in the back.

China, the 11th ranked team in the world according to FIFA's women's rankings, opens Group D play on Sept. 12 against Denmark at Wuhan Sports Center Stadium in Wuhan. Three days later the hosts take on Brazil at the same venue before closing out group play on Sept. 19 against New Zealand at Tianjin Olympic Center Stadium in Tianjin.


-- 2nd FIFA Women's World Cup - 1999

-- 4th FIFA Women's World Cup - 1995

-- 2nd Olympic Games - 1996

-- Champion Asian Women's Championship - 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2006

-- 3rd Asian Womens Championship - 2001

-- Champion Asian Games, Womens Tournament - 1990, 1994, 1998

-- 2nd Asian Games, Womens Tournament - 2002

-- Champion Algarve Cup - 1999, 2002

-- 2nd Algarve Cup - 1997, 2003