Losing just 0-2 to Japan a success: Vietnam women's football coach

By Hieu Luong   November 1, 2023 | 05:53 pm PT
Mai Duc Chung is happy with the 0-2 loss to mighty Japan in the 2024 Olympic qualifiers in his last game as head coach of the national women's football team.
Mai Duc Chung at his last game as the head coach of Vietnam national womens football team on November 1, 2023. Photo by VFF

Mai Duc Chung at his last game as the head coach of Vietnam national women's football team on Nov. 1, 2023. Photo by VFF

Vietnam did not create any surprises on Wednesday, but 0-2 is the narrowest-ever defeat to Japan, with at least three goals being the difference in all previous encounters.

Chung admitted: "Before the game, I was afraid of a repeat of the 0-7 defeat in the Asian Games. So I think losing 0-2 is a success."

After wins against India and Uzbekistan, Japan only needed a draw against Vietnam to top group C and so did not field their strongest lineup.

But they still dominated the match and scored in the 40th and 53rd minutes thanks to Risa Shimizu and Miyabi Moriya.

Chung said Vietnam were inferior to Japan in many aspects and had to make up with determination to get this result.

The 0-2 loss ended Vietnam's Olympic dream as they only scored three points from three games to place third in their group.

The three group toppers, Australia, North Korea and Japan, along with the best second-placed team Uzbekistan advanced to the third qualifying round.

The 0-1 defeat to Uzbekistan in the first game was the turning point as Vietnam are rated higher. But they put up a lackluster performance.

This is the final tournament for Chung with the national team after a 12-year stint during which there was the historic Women’s World Cup qualification, five SEA Games gold medals and one AFF Cup win.

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