- Reigning world champions & Young Nadeshiko reach AFC U-19 final
- Resounding wins over Australia and China PR respectively
- Third and final U-20 Women’s World Cup spot remains up for grabs
Japan and holders Korea DPR have secured Asia’s first two berths at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 after qualifying for the final of the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship.
Korea DPR, who won the world title for the second time last year in Papua New Guinea, led the charge with an impressive 3-0 win over Australia. Japan then followed suit with an even more emphatic 5-0 victory over tournament hosts China PR.
The in-form Sung Hyang-Sim was Korea DPR’s heroine, continuing her fine run of form with a double after Kim Pom-Ui had broken the deadlock with a ninth-minute penalty.
Japan, meanwhile, were indebted to outstanding performances from Riko Ueki and Hinata Miyazawa as all five of their goals against the Chinese came in a dazzling second-half display.
Miyazawa broke the hosts’ hearts with two goals within a minute shortly after the re-start, while Ueki forced an own-goal from Chen Qiaozhu before scoring herself. Rina Mehara then completed the rout with a fifth five minutes from the end.
There remains one U-20 Women’s World Cup place up for grabs in Asia, and it will be claimed by the the winner of Saturday’s third-place play-off between Australia and China.
Korea DPR and Japan, meanwhile, will do battle for the continental title later the same day. They join New Zealand, England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain in having qualified for next year’s world finals in France.