China, the reigning champions of Asia, have set their sights on reaching the quarter-finals of the Women’s World Cup. Coach Shui Qingxia has announced the 23 players who will represent the team in the tournament.
The squad will travel to Adelaide on Friday and will be stationed there throughout the competition, according to a spokesperson from the Chinese Football Association.
China’s team for the tournament, which is being held in Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to August 20, includes nine players who have previously played in the World Cup. This includes captain Wang Shanshan and star striker Wang Shuang.
China, who were runners-up in 1999, were eliminated in the round of 16 in the last World Cup in France. However, their thrilling victory against South Korea in the Asian Cup last year has raised expectations for their performance in this football event.
Shui aimed to manage and moderate expectations.
“We must understand that the World Cup and Asian Cup are entirely different, it’s going to be much more challenging,” state media outlet Xinhua quoted her as saying on Wednesday.
The team has been finalizing their preparations in Qingdao, a city in the north, where they won against Russia in recent friendly matches with scores of 1-0 and 2-1.
Shui, the coach, admits to feeling anxious as she approaches her first World Cup.
“No matter what unfolds in the World Cup, I hope my players can face challenges with a smile,” the former midfielder, who took over as head coach in late 2021, told reporters.
China will compete against Denmark in their first match of Group D in Perth on July 22, followed by matches against Haiti and England.
China 2023 Women’s World Cup Squad
Goalkeepers: Zhu Yu, Xu Huan, Pan Hongyan
Defenders: Wu Haiyan, Yao Wei, Wang Linlin, Gao Chen, Chen Qiaozhu, Li Mengwen, Dou Jiaxing
Midfielders: Zhang Rui, Yao Lingwei, Gu Yasha, Zhang Xin, Yang Lina, Wu Chengshu, Zhang Linyan, Shen Mengyu
Forwards: Wang Shanshan, Wang Shuang, Tang Jiali, Xiao Yuyi, Lou Jiahui