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.