Women's football head coach confident for Olympic qualifiers

By Duc Dong   May 19, 2023 | 04:45 pm PT
Coach Mai Duc Chung believes that the Vietnam women's football team will get past the second qualifying round for the Paris 2024 Olympics, after winning SEA Games gold.
HLV Mai Đức Chung hy vọng HC vàng SEA Games thứ tư là động lực để các cô gái Việt Nam thi đấu tốt ở vòng loại Olympic 2024. Ảnh: Đức Đồng

Coach Mai Duc Chung holds his SEA Games 32 gold medal on May 15, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong

The draw on Thursday put Vietnam in group C with Japan, Uzbekistan and India. Group A consists of Australia, Philippines, Taiwan and Iran. Group B has South Korea, China, Thailand and North Korea.

The top team of each group and the best second-placed team overall will advance to the third qualifying round. Vietnam will play in group C from October 23 to November 1 in Uzbekistan.

Aside from Japan who are likely too strong, Vietnam should not have trouble facing Uzbekistan and India, who are 50th and 61st in the FIFA rankings respectively.

"We expected the opponents in the second qualifying round to be really strong," Chung said.

"But with our faith, teamwork and motivation from winning the SEA Games 32 gold medal, we will try to get the best result."

The team will gather in Hanoi on Saturday before going to Germany for a training trip, in preparation for the Women's World Cup in July.

"The training trips abroad and the World Cup games with strong opponents will be a valuable chance for the players to accumulate more experience and improve their level. That is also preparation for the Olympic qualifiers," Chung said.

Striker Nguyen Hai Yen said that except for Japan, who are stronger than the rest, the other two opponents were not as strong and if Vietnam keep their form, the ticket to the next round was theirs.

"Thailand are in a tough group so their chance of advancing is low. That leaves the Philippines and Vietnam competing for the best second-placed team. We will try our best and hope luck will be with us so we can play at the Olympics," Chung added.

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