EAFF East Asian Cup 2013 & EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup 2013 Final Competition



EAFF Women’s East Asian Cups: Another Launchpad to Stardom

Along with Europe, East Asia is home of the most outstanding teams in women’s football. Just looking at the FIFA Women’s World Cup records reminds us of the fact. In 2011, Norio Sasaki’s Japanese team marched victorious all the way to the top. In the earlier games, China made it to the finals twice, proving its firm stance in the women’s football world. Considering such dominance of East Asia, the EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup is a championship no less world-class than the World Cup itself. Naturally, the football stars that compete in it are equally world-class.

The midfielder Homare Sawa was the player who led the Japanese team to victory in 2011. This national hero was the player who gained the most world-wide fame after her first EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup in Korea, 2005. The star, Homare Sawa, shined the brightest in the 2008 Chongqing EAFF East Asian Cup. She gained spotlight as an MVP, for her superb performance including the decisive winning goal against the Asian top DPRK team. With Sawa’s performance, her team won two consecutive EAFF championships after 2008.

Chinese football star Han Duan is another notable player. Like Sawa, her first appearance was in 2005 EAFF Women’s East Asian Cup. She boasts a fine record at 101 goals in just 188 matches. In Chongqing, her impressive performance continued, scoring two goals against Korea Republic team. She later entered the American WPS league, which is known to be the best in women’s professional football.

DPRK’s football legend Lee Geum-suk is not to be omitted. She played in the 2005 and 2008 EAFF championships, but had caught the world’s attention before. In three FIFA Women’s World Cup Championships, she gained fame by playing as DPRK’s key player. With powerful shoots and solid physique, she scored one goal each against Japan and Korea Republic. Her contribution played a pivotal role when DPRK made it the finals in 2008.

In Korea Republic, where this year’s event is hosted, Ji So-yun is very much worth mentioning. In the 2010 Tokyo EAFF Championships, she scored one goal against China, and later in the 2011 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, her performance was instrumental when Korea ranked third. Her playing in those games has gained her international fame. She now plays in INAC Kobe in the Japanese L League, Rubbing shoulders with prominent Japanese women footballers.