‘Treat Vietnam like defending champions in World Cup’: Portugal player

By Lam Thoa   July 10, 2023 | 12:45 am PT
‘Treat Vietnam like defending champions in World Cup’: Portugal player
Defender Carole Costa (C) celebrates after scoring the winning goal for Portugal in the World Cup intercontinental play-off against Cameroon on February 22, 2023. Photo by FIFA
Defender Carole Costa said Portugal must have the same respect for Vietnam as if they were the defending champions US if they want good results at the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

This is the first World Cup for both Portugal and Vietnam and they have been put together in Group E together with defending champions the U.S. and the Netherlands. Portugal are rated 21st in the FIFA world ranking, 11 places above Vietnam.

On July 23, Portugal will play their opening game against the Netherlands. They will face Vietnam on the 27th and the U.S. four days later.

"Whether it’s the U.S. or Vietnam, our goal is still three points. Of course, these two opponents are different, but our target is the same. The U.S. and Vietnam are not on the same level but we have the same respect for each team," Costa told FIFA.

The U.S. are top of the world ranking and the most decorated team in World Cup history, with four titles. They are aiming to be the first national team to win three consecutive World Cups. Meanwhile, Vietnam’s goal in this tournament is to gain more experience.

This is the first time that Portugal has played Vietnam and the U.S., but the Netherlands are no stranger to them. In their most recent encounter in the 2022 European Championship, Portugal lost 3-2.

To reach the World Cup, Portugal had to play 10 games in the qualifiers, two regional play-offs and an intense intercontinental play-off with Cameroon. Costa successfully converted the penalty in additional time and helped Portugal win 2-1.

Costa, who has played more than 150 games for the national team, said qualifying for the World Cup was not only good for her generation but also for the future players of Portugal.

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