Women's World Cup: Vietnam hope to adapt quickly to freezing New Zealand

By Lam Thoa    July 7, 2023 | 07:09 pm PT
Head coach Mai Duc Chung said Vietnamese players are trying to acclimatize as quickly as possible in New Zealand for their upcoming Women's World Cup match.
HLV Mai Đức Chung tại sân Mc Lean Park ở Napier (New Zealand) sáng 7/7. Ảnh: Anh Thư

Coach Mai Duc Chung at Mc Lean Park Stadium in Napier, New Zealand, on July 7, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Thu

The team are staying in Napier, a city on the eastern coast of North Island. It is winter in the southern hemisphere, and the temperature here is 7-13 degrees Celsius, a big contrast to the sweltering weather in Vietnam at the moment.

But the weather in Napier is warmer than in Dunedin, where Vietnam will play their last group match against the Netherlands. It is currently snowing in Dunedin, a city on South Island.

Since their arrival in New Zealand, the Vietnamese players have had to wear thermal pants and jackets during training.

"The weather is a problem the team have to deal with," Chung, the most successful coach in the history of Vietnamese women’s football, said before training on Friday.

But he then pointed out that it is a problem all teams have to contend with when playing in another country.

"The U.S. and African teams also come from hot places. We can't always play in favorable weather conditions. The faster you adapt, the better you play.

"This is what we have always wanted and now we are here."

Việt Nam tập trên sân Mc Lean Park sáng 7/7. Ảnh: Anh Thư

Vietnamese players at a training session in New Zealand on July 7, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Anh Thu

Vietnam will play a friendly against New Zealand on July 10. The co-hosts of the 2023 Women’s World Cup with Australia rank 26th in the world, six places above Vietnam.

On July 14 Vietnam will play their last friendly match, this one against world number six Spain. There will be no spectators or media for the teams to keep their lineups and tactics secret ahead of the main event.

After training at Napier, the team will travel to Auckland to prepare for their opening match against the defending champions the U.S. on July 22. Five days later they will face Portugal in Hamilton. Their match against Netherlands is on August 1.

This is Vietnam’s first World Cup.

They are in group E with some formidable opponents, but coach Chung sees this as an opportunity for the team to play world-class teams and accumulate experience.

The World Cup will be played from July 20 to August 20 with 32 teams divided into eight groups. The top two in each group will advance to the knockout round.

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