US media impressed by development of Vietnamese women's football

By VNA   July 21, 2023 | 12:09 am PT
US media impressed by development of Vietnamese women's football
Vietnam forward Huynh Nhu (C) gets familiar with Eden Park Stadium in New Zealand before Vietnam's game with the U.S. at the 2023 Women's World Cup, July 21, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong
The New York Times has highlighted the growth of Vietnamese women's football in an article published recently.

It summarized the development of Vietnamese women's football team since 1997, noting that a quarter of a century later, Vietnam is one of the dominant teams in Southeast Asia.

Vietnam will play for the first time in the FIFA Women's World Cup, starting with a game against the U.S., the two-time defending champion, the article said.

Vietnam's arrival is the culmination of its nearly decade-long plan to develop women's football, in part through expansion of the World Cup field from 16 to 24 and now to 32 teams, making this year’s tournament the largest in history.

This will be the biggest football moment for Vietnam and the other first-timers, a group that includes teams as diverse as Haiti, Ireland, Morocco and the Philippines.

The newspaper highly valued Huynh Nhu, especially spotlighting the journey of the Tra Vinh-born striker when she play for Portugal's Lank FC.

"More than any Vietnamese player, Huynh Nhu, 31, represents possibility and inequality that coexist in her country and, effectively, for women’s soccer worldwide", it said.

She is the first female player from Vietnam to play for a club team in Europe, having scored seven goals in the recently completed season for Lank F.C. Vilaverdense in Portugal’s second division.

According to CBS Sports, Vietnam, ranked 32nd in the world, arrive at the World Cup with standout attackers Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha and Huynh Nhu who will no doubt want to impress during the tournament.

The pair will provide the first test for a U.S. defense that is without veteran center back Becky Sauerbrunn through injury and has had limited time to build chemistry, it said.

Vietnam might also rely on its own defensive shape to keep out the U.S., which is well known for its attacking prowess but has recently struggled against teams who take that approach, it added. The newspaper has warned the U.S. women’s football team about the ability of Thanh Nha, saying that Nha is a young star to watch at World Cup.

Nha stood out at the friendly match with Germany in preparation for the World Cup. The 21-year-old striker, who scored the only goal in the match, will be another choice in attack next to Huynh Nhu - Vietnam's top goalscorer, the website said.

The goal helps shine her name.

A club in Germany even wanted to invite Thanh Nha to play in Europe.

In the final round of the upcoming 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in New Zealand, Vietnam will meet the U.S., Portugal and the Netherlands on July 22, July 28 and Aug. 1 respectively.

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