3 danger players to watch at 2018 Asian Cup

With the draw for next year's AFC Women's Asian Cup to be held on Saturday night, Alen Stajcic will soon know the challenges the Westfield Matildas will face in Jordan.

Australia will be attempting to reclaim the trophy they won back in 2010, having narrowly lost to Japan in the final of the most recent edition.

We've picked out three players they'll need to keep a close eye on next April.


The most-capped member of Japan's current squad, Sakaguchi is a proven winner and will be the heartbeat of her nation's attempt to go back-to-back.

The attacking midfielder was part of the 2011 World Cup winning squad and also scored a stunning goal on the way to the final at Canada 2015.

She plies her tried domestically with NTV Beleza, leading her side to a third consecutive league title in 2017 and picking up the comptition's MVP award for her efforts.

Mizuho Sakaguchi
Mizuho Sakaguchi is a creative force for Japan.


While China PR were comfortably dealt with by the Westfield Matildas last month, they are likely to provider a sterner test when the heat is really on in Jordan.

Wang Shuang, an unused substitute in the second match in Geelong, will be key to the Steel Roses' fortunes as she possesses the quality capable of turning any game.

The skillful left-footed forward has been described by Alen Stajcic as one of the "top three or four players in Asia" and famously scored the winner in Abby Wambach's final match for the USA.

Wang Shuang
Wang Shuang is highly rated throughout Asia.


Korea Republic, having never managed better than a third-place finish at an Asian Cup, will be looking to Chelsea star Ji So-yun to help fire them to history.

The 26-year-old is her country's all-time top goalscorer and notched two crucial strikes during qualifying.

The first player to score in an FA Women's Cup final held at Wembley Stadium, she was also named AFC Women's Player of the Year in 2013.

Ji So-yun Korea Republic
Ji So-yun fends off Australia's Elise Kellond-Knight.