Korean women to open Olympic qualifying vs. China

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Korean women to open Olympic qualifying vs. China

Seeking its first Olympic appearance, the South Korean women’s football team will open the final round of Asian qualification against China in September, the continental governing body of the sport said Wednesday.

According to the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), South Korea is scheduled to face China on the road on Sept. 1 for its first match in the final qualifying round. The two countries are joined by North Korea, Japan, Australia and Thailand in the final phase.

Women’s football became an Olympic medal sport at the 1996 Atlanta Games. South Korea has never reached the Olympic tournament but China has played in all four, winning silver behind the U.S. in 1996.

The final round will use a round-robin format with teams playing each other once. South Korea faces Japan on Sept. 3, North Korea on Sept. 5, Thailand on Sept. 8 and Australia on Sept. 11. All games will be in China. The top two teams will secure berths in the London Games.

South Korean women’s football had a banner year in 2010. Its under-17 team won the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the under-20 squad finished third at the U-20 World Cup.

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