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Kuala Lumpur: Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Japan, who defeated DPR Korea 1-0 in Nanjing, China to win the 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship on Saturday. 

Both countries – along with China PR, who beat Australia to finish third – will represent Asia at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be held in France.

"On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate Japan for their outstanding performances, which have resulted in them winning their fifth AFC U-19 Women’s Championship. I also offer my congratulations to DPR Korea and China PR who will join them at the U-20 Women’s World Cup, where I hope our Asian teams will continue to thrive.”

“Japan’s victory highlights the exemplary work being done by the Japan Football Association in player and coach development. May their efforts inspire players and fans throughout the Continent.”

Asian teams lead the world in women’s youth football, having won four FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cups and two FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cups since 2006, and the 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship was further proof of the abundance of talent throughout the Continent.

Shaikh Salman also complimented the Local Organising Committee, who successfully staged the Confederation’s flagship women’s youth competition over 14 days in Nanjing.

“I would like to thank the Chinese Football Association and the Local Organising Committee for their belief in women’s football, and tireless work in delivering a highly successful competition, which has provided Asian football with a legion of new female stars.”

Japan won their second consecutive AFC U-19 Women’s Championship thanks to a second half goal from their forward Riko Ueki, while China PR earlier beat Australia 3-0 in the playoff for third place.

DPR Korea’s Sung Hyang-sim finished as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals in five matches, and was also presented with the official 2017 AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Most Valuable Player award.

Photo: AFC