Vietnam thrashed 0-9 by Spain in last pre-World Cup game

By Hieu Luong   July 13, 2023 | 10:54 pm PT
Vietnam thrashed 0-9 by Spain in last pre-World Cup game
Vietnam (in white) play Spain in a friendly in New Zealand on July 14, 2023. Photo by RFEF
Vietnam were crushed 0-9 by Spain on Friday in their last exhibition game before the 2023 Women's World Cup.

The two teams played at McLennan Park Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand without media or fans attending. There was no limit on substitutions, so the two teams had opportunities to experiment tactically.

Vietnam made three changes to the lineup in the 0-2 loss to New Zealand. Spain did not use Alexia Putellas, who won the Ballon d'Or in the last two years, due to injury, but still used a strong core of Barcelona players, the team that won the Women's UEFA Champions League last season.

World number six Spain controlled the game from the start and opened the scoring after just seven minutes with Alba Redondo's header. Five minutes later, a great team play put Althenea Castillo into a position to easily tap it in and double the lead for Spain.

After conceding two goals early on, Vietnam continued to play on the counter-attack. In the 26th minute, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy won the ball and entered the penalty area, but her finish lacked power and could not beat goalkeeper Catalina Tomas. Vietnam had another shot by Duong Thi Van in the 43rd minute but it flew over the bar.

In the second half, Spain replaced all players and continued to play better. In the first 20 minutes, Salma Celeste, Hermoso Fuentes and Gonzalez Rodriguez scored four goals using great individual skills. Vietnam head coach Mai Duc Chung made multiple substitutions but the situation did not improve and the team conceded three more goals.

Before playing Spain, Vietnam lost 1-2 to Germany and 0-2 to New Zealand. The team have more than a week to prepare for the opening match against the defending champions the United States on July 22 at Eden Park Stadium, Auckland.

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