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China PR

China PR celebrate victory in the AFC U-19 Women's Championship third-place play-off against Australia
© AFC

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup record 
China PR, under Hesterine de Reus, sealed their return to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France having missed the past edition at Papua New Guinea 2016. France 2018 marks the country’s sixth appearance in the global showpiece. The world’s most populous nation made an early impression on the world stage when they reached the final of both Thailand 2004 and Russia 2006. They have, however, made little impact since then, failing to progress beyond the group phase in all of their more recent appearances.

The road to France 
AFC U-19 Championship hosts China defeated Uzbekistan and Thailand by identical 2-0 scorelines to win through to the knockout stage, despite a 2-0 defeat against reigning world champions Korea DPR in the closing group match. A 5-0 loss to Japan in the semi-final encounter left their campaign in jeopardy, but the home team bounced back to defeat Australia 3-0 in the all-important third-place play-off to secure qualification to France 2018.

The coach 
A former Netherlands women's national team player, Hesterine de Reus began her coaching career working for the Netherlands Football Association in 1994. She accumulated significant experience at the helm of several Netherlands youth teams, before short stints in charge of Jordan and Australia. She became the first foreign coach of China’s U-20 team when she was appointed in March 2017.

The stat 
7 - The number of goals China conceded in five games during their qualifying campaign.