Olympic qualifiers: Vietnam stay realistic ahead of Australia clash

By Duc Dong   March 5, 2020 | 10:59 pm PT
Olympic qualifiers: Vietnam stay realistic ahead of Australia clash
(From L) Captain Huynh Nhu and head coach Mai Duc Chung of Vietnam's women football team at a press conference in Newcastle, Australia, March 5, 2020. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation.
The Vietnamese women's football team will try not to concede too much in Olympic qualification match against Australia on Friday, their coach says.

"Australia are very strong. Playing against them is a valuable experience for us. With an opponent like this, our main goal there is to learn. At the same time, we also need to avoid yellow cards, red cards, injuries and conceding too much in this match," said head coach Mai Duc Chung.

Australia are seventh in world rankings, while Vietnam are 32nd. Australia also have qualified for the World Cup seven times, won the Asian Cup in 2010 and qualified for the Olympics three times.

In this year’s qualifiers, they have continued to show their power and determination by thrashing Taiwan and Thailand, and drawing with China to take the top spot in group B.

"They have excellent physical strength and stamina, as well as the skills. But we will play with our highest spirit," Chung said at a press conference in Newcastle Thursday.

Vietnam have lost all their three latest encounters against Australia, conceding 19 goals and scoring none.

Vietnamese captain Huynh Nhu said: "We have been focusing on counter attacks recently because that is the best option. I hope we can make the most out of our chances against them."

Making things more difficult for Vietnam is the loss of key defender Chuong Thi Kieu to injury; and some other players have not yet found their form.

The match will start at 2:30 p.m., Friday at the Newcastle International Sports Center, Australia.

The day after the game, Chung and the players will return to Vietnam to prepare for the second leg that will kick off on March 11, 6 p.m. at the Cam Pha Stadium in the central province of Quang Ninh.

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