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AFC Women’s Asian Cup: Star-studded Japan, Korea teams to arrive in Pune on Sunday | Football News – Times of India

PUNE: The Women’s Asian Cup bandwagon is about to roll in Pune. The Shiv Chhatrapati sports complex will host the Group C teams for their league matches starting on January 21.
Pune will host the matches for Group C consisting former World Champions Japan, South Korea, Myanmar and Vietnam with Japan and Myanmar opening the action here. The teams will arrive in the city on Sunday and will be stationed at various bio-secured hotels.
The Group C will include some of the top international players, including Japan skipper Saki Kumagai, who was a part of Japan’s World Cup winning team in 2011. It was Kumagai, who had scored the decisive penalty against the USA in the final. The veteran now plays for Bayern Munchen in Germany’s Bundesliga.
Other prominent players from Japan will be forward Mana Iwabuchi, who was also part of Japan’s 2011 WC team and has represented many English clubs. She represents Arsenal now.
Mid-fielder Yui Hasegawa, who plays for West Ham United, will play for Japan in Pune.
South Korea has also fielded a team that includes players representing various international clubs. Mid-fielders Cho So-hyun (Tottenham Hotspur), Ji So-yun (Chelsea) and Lee Geum-min (Brighton) will be the star attractions.
Maharashtra Government’s sports department – the hosts – prepared the venue with two warm-up grounds at the complex with two back-ups in the city.
“We have kept the St Vincent’s School ground in Camp and Symbiosis College ground in Lavale ready as backup warm-up grounds,” said Maharashtra sports director Om Prakash Bakoria.
“We have also replaced the old floodlights with new LED lights at Balewadi. It will not just save energy by at least 7 per cent, but will also illuminate more lumens,” he said.
New bathrooms for the team rooms have been made along with improving the turf at the main pitch. The government has spent over 21 crore for the refurbishment.

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