- Four of Asia’s teams for France 2019 will compete at the Asian Games
- China PR seeking to win their fourth title
- Asian champions Japan aiming to reverse recent dip in form
The FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ is a little less than a year away, but a quartet of Asia's representatives will have the opportunity to take stock of their form at the Asian Games' women's football tournament which will be staged in Palembang, Indonesia. The women’s tournament commences on Thursday and concludes on 31 August.
Four of Asia's five qualified teams - Australia are the lone exception – enter the campaign competing for the football gold. Hot off their tournament-winning form at this April's AFC Women's Asian Cup, Japan have set their sights on winning their second title.
One of the competition's most successful teams, China PR, under new boss Jia Xiuquan, arrive in Palembang aiming to showcase their progress. Korea Republic’s recent form suggests they will offer much more than just nuisance value, while Thailand will strive to better their last-eight finish of four years ago.
Despite the failure to qualify for France 2019, reigning champions Korea DPR will seek to redeem themselves on the Asian stage with the sole aim of winning a record fourth title.
Players to watch
Having fired her side to the Women’s Asian Cup title four months ago, ace striker Mana Iwabuchi will continue to shoulder the main goalscoring responsibility for Japan. The 25-year-old’s form will be key if the Nadeshiko are to reign supreme at Palembang 2018.
China, meanwhile, will look to hotshot Wang Shuang as they aim to win a record fourth title. Having recently joined Paris Saint-Germain in a high-profile move, the 23-year-old enters the tournament hoping to live up to heightened expectations.
8 - The first female football tournament in the Asian Games was staged at Beijing 1990 with Palembang 2018 being the eighth edition.
3 - China and Korea DPR are the joint most successful teams having reached the final four times, including winning the gold on three occasions apiece.
1 - Japan are the only team outside China and Korea DPR to have claimed football gold, defeating the latter 1-0 in the final of Guangzhou 2010 with Azusa Iwashimizu scoring the match-winner.
11 - Eleven teams are divided into three groups (two groups of four and a lone group of three). Only three sides won't make it to the knockout stage.
What they said
"We have called up a series of young players including some new faces into this Asian Games squad. We will test a few players from the (France 2018) U-20 side and inject new blood into the team. We will prepare the new-look team for next year's Women's World Cup."
China head coach Jia Xiuquan
"Our goals are to win next year's Women's World Cup in France. But the Asian Games are an important competition next only to the Women's Asian Cup. We can keep building on our playing style and try to display our qualities."
Japan head coach Asako Takakura
"I was just 16 when I first took part in the Asian Games. Now 12 years have elapsed and this is my fourth Asian Games. But what we have won in the past editions are merely bronze medals. We want to win medals of a different colour this time around."
Korea Republic midfielder Ji Soyun
Group A: Indonesia, Korea Republic, Chinese Taipei, Maldives
Group B: Korea DPR, China PR, Hong Kong, Tajikistan
Group C: Japan, Vietnam, Thailand