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Chawinga foresees bright future for AFC Women's Club Championship

4:38 PM GMT+8 02/12/2019
Tabitha Chawinga - Jiangsu Suning
The women's club tournament was held for the first time in Asia this year, with the South Korea playing host to the event

Jiangsu Suning striker Tabitha Chawinga believes the women's game will be more competitive in Asia following the successful staging of the AFC Women's Club Women's Championship.

The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) organised its maiden women's continental club event in Yongin, with Nippon TV Beleza crowned inaugural winners of the round-robin showpiece.

The 23-year-old, who became the first player to score in the inaugural championship, hailed the launch of the club tournament and backs the women's game to grow faster and stronger.

"It is a good move in Asia. If every year they are going to organise a tournament like this, women's football can be strong," Chawinga told Goal. 

"Look at now, we're meeting different teams and the way we're playing against each other is very difficult.

"The [level of] football is blowing up. Chinese [players] are strong for marking and with ball possession they are also very strong. 

"In China, the league now, each year it's different.  It's coming up and up and up. In Sweden and Europe, it's as usual. 

"It's big tournaments and leagues that have been around for a long time. So, I can see now thee league in China is coming up little by little and now it's a really strong league."

The Malawi international scored a brace to help Chinese giants Jiangsu defeat hosts Incheon Hyundai Steel Red Angels 2-0 to finish as runners-up at Yongin Citizen Sports Park on Monday.

Having missed out on her fifth club silverware and fourth top scorer gong in 2019, Chawinga blamed her side's profligacy against the Japanese champions for their failure to win the title.

"It was a disappointment for our team [Jiangsu Suning]. "Even us, our players, we're are not happy because we wanted to win but anyway, this happens in football," she continued. 

"It looked like in the first game we lost a lot of chances but anyway it's football. I am very happy because so many people follow me.

"My first time to play professionally was in Sweden and I played there for almost four years. I came to China and I've played for almost three years now. I enjoyed this tournament." 

Chawinga scored thrice in three games to hit a total of 38 goals in all competitions for Jiangsu this season and celebrated four titles in 2019. 

Chawinga, who scored six times in two Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games qualifiers, will hope her exploits in the last 12 months will help her scoop the African Women's Player of the Year for 2019.