Japan’s Yoshimi Yamashita becomes first female referee for Asian Champions League game


PATHUM THANI: The first female referee to officiate an Asian Champions League game saw Melbourne City defeat Jeonnam Dragons of South Korea 2-1.

Yoshimi Yamashita and assistant referees Makoto Bozono and Naomi Teshirogi  “all of Japan” comprised the first all-female trio to officiate an Asian Champions League match, having been appointed by the Asian Football Confederation.

“Their selection reinforces the AFC’s commitment to strengthen and develop the women’s game at all levels as well as in ensuring the AFC’s women match officials continue to receive the highest standards of quality education and expert guidance to scale the biggest stages in world football,” the confederation said in a statement.

Lee Kyu-hyuk scored for Jeonnam after 16 minutes to cancel out Carl Jenkinson’s early opener at the Pathum Thani Stadium just north of Bangkok.

Andrew Nabbout scored what turned out to be the winning goal for the Australian team just six minutes later. Melbourne City is second in Group G level on points with leader BG Pathum United of Thailand.

The 10 group winners automatically advance along with the six best-performing second-place teams. Defending champion Al-Hilal of Saudi Arabia is the only team to have already reached the knockout stage.

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