Australian women's football team targets Tokyo with same 20 players in playoff qualification

Source: Xinhua| 2020-02-19 15:24:28|Editor: Yurou
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CANBERRA, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The Australian women's football team showed confidence to enter Tokyo Olympics as head Coach Ante Milicic on Wednesday announced the same 20 players who topped Group B of qualifications and sealed progression to the playoff round when they takes on Vietnam home and away in March.

Milicic named an identical squad for Australia's clashes with Vietnam at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle on March 6 and at the away leg on March 11. The winner will qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games.

"The players that we had in camp in Sydney did a great job to help us advance to the next phase of Olympic qualification," Milicic said, according to the Football Federation Australia.

"We were in camp for over three weeks, which enabled us to get some great work both on and off the pitch.

"I look forward to working with these players again in Newcastle and Vietnam," He said.

The 20-player squad, including five players based in English and German top-flight leagues, has a frontline trio, Sam Kerr, from Chelsea, Caitlin Foord from Arsenal and Hayley Raso from Everton.

Emily Van Egmond, the all-round midfielder from Melbourne City FC who scored the last-gasp equalizer against China in the group stage of qualification earlier this month, is also included in the squad.

Due to the novel coronavirus outbreak in China, the Chinese players, who remain in Sydney after finishing as runners-up of group B of the Olympic qualification tournament to qualify for the last round playoffs, will have to play their home leg of the playoff on foreign soil.

The Chinese women's football team has suggested playing the home leg of the playoff against South Korea in Sydney in a proposal submitted to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) for approval.

China will play the away leg in South Korea on March 6 and the return leg tie will be held five days later.

The Asian zone qualifications produce two tickets to Olympics. Japan has already qualified without participating in the qualifying stage as the host nation.