October 30, 2003 - Captain of the Argentine national women's team Marķa Laura Vincente admits her squad is in for a true reality test when they set off on their 2003 World Cup campaign, which starts with a match against Japan on Saturday in Tokyo.
Argentina are coming off a South American Championship campaign where they qualified for the World Cup through beating Peru and Colombia and only suffering a loss to Brazil.
But limited training, a disrupted buildup and injuries have all plagued their build up for a competition they have only competed in twice before, finishing eighth in 1973 and 11th in 1999.
"It is good to travel and to stay on the international level but the negative part is that we have almost been unable to train," Vincente admitted. "Our adaptation to the great gymnasiums (Argentina play Japan in the Yoyogi Stadium 1 with a capacity of more than 10,000 people) and to the lighter ball will also be difficult.
"We anticipate rotating our players as much as possible throughout the tournament with an eye on Egypt, where we really believe we can win."
Argentina finished 17th in the 2002 World Championship in Germany and since then have had little playing time. They are currently ranked 13th in the world while Japan is ranked 11th.