Vietnam out of Olympic qualifiers, but achieve important goal against Australia

By Quang Dung, Thang Nguyen   March 11, 2020 | 06:01 pm PT
Vietnam out of Olympic qualifiers, but achieve important goal against Australia
Striker Huynh Nhu celebrates after scoring for Vietnam against Australia at their Olympic qualification match in Quang Ninh Province, northern Vietnam, March 11, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.
A far better showing at home failed to prevent Vietnamese women from a second leg loss to Australia, sealing their exit from the Olympic qualifiers.

The saving grace in Wednesday's 1-2 loss and ouster was that the team met their goal of scoring the first ever goal against their far tougher opponents, not having managed the feat in eight clashes over 12 years.

This time, playing at home after first leg 5-0 thrashing, Vietnam had a better game plan and a stunner 10 minutes after the break saw them achieve the target they’d set for themselves before the match.

A mistake in passing by Alanna Kennedy saw Huynh Nhu get the ball. Noticing that goalkeeper Lydia Williams was going higher than normal, Nhu chipped the ball from 30 m with her second effort, giving her team plenty of cheer.

Vietnam started the game slow, just as they did in the first leg, despite getting to play at home at the Cam Pha Stadium in Quang Ninh Province. They tried to preserve their energy to attack towards the end of the game, when they created many chances as Australia started slowing down their pace.

Goalkeeper Kim Thanh had an excellent game. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Goalkeeper Kim Thanh makes a save during Vietnam's Olympic qualification match against Australia in Quang Ninh Province, March 11, 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

Meanwhile, Australia entered the game strong and quickly went two ahead in the first 30 minutes, Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso being the scorers. But a superb display of goalkeeping by the Vietnamese custodian Kim Thanh, including saving a penalty at the end of the first half, saw the opponents unable to up their tally.

There were no spectators allowed in the stadium due to coronavirus fears.

Although Vietnam lost 1-7 on aggregrate, the team’s performance in the second leg – with a fighting game and a stunning goal – satisfied fans.

Olympic qualifiers: Vietnam 1-2 Australia

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