Opponent Watch: Westfield Matildas' Asian Cup rivals

With the Algarve Cup now out of the way, the Westfield Matildas' attentions have turned to the upcoming AFC Women's Asian Cup.

There's less than a month until kick-off in Jordan as Australia look to regain the trophy they won in 2010.

And with the tournament doubling as a qualifier for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, the battle to finish in the top five places will be fierce.

Here's a look at some of the latest news on Group B's three other hopefuls.


The reigning AFC Women's Asian Cup champions got a big dose of reality in a 6-2 defeat to Netherlands in their Algarve Cup opener last month.

Victories over Iceland and Denmark steadied the ship, before a 2-0 loss to Canada in the fifth-place playoff rounded out the tournament on a disappointing note.

Coach Asako Takakura called for her team to be "more strategic" in order to compensate for a disadvantage in "physical strength and speed".

However, there was good news recently with captain and Lyon star Saki Kumagai included on FIFPro's 55-player shortlist for their annual World XI.


Korea Republic also endured mixed fortunes in Portugal.

Japan-based midfielder Lee Min-na top scored with two goals as the Taeguk Nangja beat Russia 3-1, drew 1-1 with Sweden and lost 3-0 to Canada.

Yoon Deok-yeo announced his Asian Cup roster following the tournament, headlined by Chelsea star Ji So-yun - who has 45 goals in 99 caps - and Melbourne Victory forward Jeon Ga-eul.

Check out two of Ji's finest goals for Chelsea in the video below.


Vietnam suffered heartbreak at the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup as a 2-1 defeat to Thailand in the fifth-place playoff cost them a spot at the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung was Vietnam's scorer in the match and the 24-year-old says the loss has only strengthened her resolve to go one better this time around.

"I dream of getting a ticket to compete in the upcoming FIFA Women's World Cup," Dung said in a recent interview with Viet Nam News.

"I have not forgotten our loss to Thailand, which cost us the World Cup slot three years ago. I hope we make it this time."

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung was her nation's joint-top scorer in qualifying.