Olympic Football Tournaments 2020 – Women
- China PR dramatically pipped Korea Republic for an Olympic place
- Wang Shuang was the additional-time hero
- The 26-yr-outdated discusses their qualification and Tokyo targets
The scene of a weeping Wang Shuang, hugging crew-mates after 120 minutes in Suzhou yesterday, informed its personal story. It had been a yr since China PR have been due to face Korea Republic in a winner-takes-all showdown for a Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Tokyo 2020 place. Due to the COVID-19, nevertheless, the 2 groups did not sq. off till not too long ago.
Jia Xiuquan’s Steel Roses battled to a 2-1 away win within the first leg in Korea Republic, with Wang scoring the winner, however the Taeguek Ladies emerged a special crew within the return match, moving into 2-0 up on the break. With little over 20 minutes remaining, nevertheless, Wang’s free-kick discovered the top of towering Yang Man to stage the combination rating, earlier than her scientific end received it for China in additional-time.
“Now we’re within the Olympics,” Wang informed FIFA.com. “It was down to the crew’s collective efforts. If you ask me to single out a participant of the match, I might say each one in every of us performed a key function and every of us did what we might in serving to the crew via.
“We chased every ball in attack and got stuck in defensively. The entire team strove throughout the two legs to live up to the expectations. Thanks should go to my team-mates and the coaching staff, as well as the fans for their consistent support.”
China started their Olympic qualifying marketing campaign in February 2020, which coincided with the outbreak of COVID-19. Hailing from Wuhan, Wang missed out on the group competitors in Australia due to her metropolis’s lockdown.
She did not, nevertheless, sit at residence doing nothing. Wang, in contrast, launched into a self-made coaching plan, with movies of her indoor coaching going viral on-line.
With issues shortly put underneath management in China, Wang acquired her name-up to the nationwide crew coaching camp final May. Having longed for probabilities to play for thus lengthy, Wang labored laborious upon her return and shortly regained the health and type. With the playoff fixtures lastly confirmed, Wang and Co stepped up their efforts in coaching.
“We went through a hard, 130-day training camp,” Wang explaine. “In each day’s training session we covered over 10,000 metres. We were more than ready for the playoff and when we went out there, we were able to get the better of them.”
China’s Olympic file
Atlanta 1996: Runners-up
Sydney 2000: Group stage
Athens 2004: Group stage
Beijing 2008: Quarter-finals
London 2012: Didn’t qualify
Rio 2016: Quarter-finals
Wang was an integral a part of the China squad that reached Rio 2016. She excelled throughout qualifying, notably grabbing the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Korea DPR via an harm-time spot-kick.
The Steel Roses went on to down hosts Japan and Korea Republic to e book their passage to the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. Wang went on to impress on her Olympic debut, beginning all of China’s 4 outings as they reached the quarter-finals, the place they misplaced 1-0 to eventual champions Germany.
From there, Wang continued to make progress with each membership and nation, twice profitable the home league with Dalian and serving to China to win silver on the Asian Games 2018. That yr noticed her make a excessive-profile transfer to Paris Saint-Germain and earn the AFC Women’s Player of the Year award.
“To be honest, I have matured a lot – especially mentally,” the 26-yr-outdated stated. “After taking part in on the final Olympics and the previous two Women’s World Cups, I’ve change into psychologically stronger.
“We hope to make new breakthrough in Tokyo underneath the steering of coach Jia. Our crew will spare nothing to obtain a great consequence and repay our followers for his or her help.”