VIENTIANE (14 Oct 2011) – After a year’s hiatus, the return of the AFF Women’s Championship has brought a renewed sense of excitement – no doubt an after effect of Japan’s win of the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup.
With eight teams taking part – including of course the big three of Thailand, Vietnam and Myanmar – the expectation is that the other five teams will put up more than just token resistance.
Thailand had pipped Vietnam for a place in the final qualifying round of the 2012 Olympic qualifiers while Myanmar, they had always shown they can be very competitive at this level.
From the indication and the early ‘intel’, the other five teams are well prepared.
Laos by virtue of being the hosts have been preparing the team for several months where they will be aiming for a place in the final to show that they are worthy of being part of the quartet of ASEAN powerhouse in the women’s game.
For the Philippines, they have opted to bring in several foreign-based players to fortify their team and improve on their performance from two years ago in Myanmar when they lost all three of their matches and scoring only once as against conceding 30 goals.
Indonesia have decided to use the same side which represented the country two years ago – a team from the region of Papua – while for Malaysia and Singapore, they are basically at the same level.
Both will be using this AFF Women’s Championship to gauge the level of their respective teams before looking to tweak and improve for the next tournament.
For sure, the women’s game in ASEAN is still lagging a little behind but it is important that through competition like this, member associations use the opportunity to improve the competitive edge of their teams.
As afterall, if Japan can be world champions, then definitely, it is an inspiration that as Asians we can also scale the greater heights.
AFF WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP 2011
(All matches at the National Stadium unless indicated otherwise)
GROUP A: Indonesia, Vietnam, Singapore, Laos
GROUP B: Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines
16 Oct 2011: Indonesia vs Laos (1600) / Vietnam vs Singapore (1900)
17 Oct 2011: Myanmar vs Philippines (1600) / Thailand vs Malaysia (1900)
18 Oct 2011: Laos vs Vietnam (1600) / Singapore vs Indonesia (1900)
19 Oct 2011: Philippines vs Thailand (1600) / Malaysia vs Myanmar (1900)
20 Oct 2011: Indonesia vs Vietnam (1900 at National Stadium) / Laos vs Singapore (1900 at Chao Anouvong Stadium)
21 Oct 2011: Myanmar vs Thailand (1900 at National Stadium) / Philippines vs Malaysia (1900 at Chao Anouvong Stadium)
23 Oct 2011: Winner A vs Runner-up B (1600) / Winner B vs Runner-up A (1900)
25 Oct 2011: 3rd/4th (1600) / Final (1900)