Women's football: England to play China before 2015 Women's World Cup
Last Updated: 27/02/15 4:10pm
England’s Women play China in a friendly on April 9 in their last home match before the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
Manchester City’s new Academy Stadium – the 7,000-seater home of Manchester City Women – is the venue for the game, with the stadium hosting an international match for the first time.
China are ranked seven places below England in 13th position in the FIFA world rankings, but they emerged as 2-0 winners from the last meeting between the sides in Guandong in 2007.
Mark Sampson’s side are currently in Larnaca preparing for the first of four matches in the Cyprus Cup which begins for England on Wednesday against Finland.
England head coach Sampson said: “The confirmation of the China match is a big positive for us. Not only will we face a strong opponent, but one from a continent with which we have limited experience against.
“The match will be a real challenge for the team. It also means after the China match we will have played 10 of the top 14 FIFA-ranked nations over the last 18 months, which gives the team a true sense of the quality of opponent they will face at the World Cup.
“The match is also the last opportunity for the team to play in front of our supporters before the World Cup. We will be determined to put on a big performance and enjoy a positive send-off."
England and Manchester City Women captain Steph Houghton said: “We’re really excited to be playing our final fixture before the World Cup in the north west.
“We know how much it helps to build support for the team when we travel round the country for matches and it’s great that fans in the local area will have the opportunity to come and see the England Women in action.
“I know first hand what a fantastic stadium and facility it is so I have no doubt it will be a great night and I’m sure our supporters will be out in force ahead of the World Cup.”
Danny Wilson, Manchester City’s director of stadium sales and operations, said: “As a club that is passionate about developing women’s football we’re delighted to be hosting the England v China women’s match.
“It’s fitting our new 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium, which also serves as the home for our very own Manchester City Women’s Football Club, will play host to what’s set to be a great game.
"We look forward to welcoming fans from across the country and the local community to City Football Academy this April.”