FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023: China finalises squad, targets quarterfinals


Asian champions China is targeting a spot in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals after coach Shui Qingxia named her 23-player squad for the tournament.

The squad will depart for Adelaide on Friday, where they will be based during the tournament, a spokesperson for the Chinese Football Association told Reuters on Thursday.

China’s squad for the competition, which is being hosted by Australia and New Zealand from July 20 to Aug. 20, features nine players with World Cup experience including captain Wang Shanshan and star striker Wang Shuang.

Runners-up in 1999, China were knocked out in the round of 16 at the last edition in France but their dramatic Asian Cup victory against South Korea last year means hopes are high heading into the soccer showpiece.

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Shui sought to keep expectations in check.

“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 players have been putting the finishing touches to their preparations in the northern city of Qingdao, where they beat Russia 1-0 and 2-1 in recent friendlies.

Shui says she is feeling nervous ahead of her first World Cup as a coach.

“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 plays Denmark in Perth in their Group D opener on July 22 before facing Haiti and England.

China 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



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