Vietnam women make great start in Olympic football qualifiers

By Dong Huyen   April 3, 2019 | 07:19 pm PT
Vietnam women make great start in Olympic football qualifiers
Vietnam women's national football team in Tuesday game against Uzbekistan. Photo courtesy of Vietnam Football Federation
Vietnam’s women’s football team beat Uzbekistan 2-1 Wednesday in the opening match of the second round of qualification for the 2020 Olympics.

Uzbekistan were considered the biggest threat to Vietnam in group B due to their physical and home advantage.

But Vietnam began the match determinedly and chose to attack from the start. They opened the scoring in just the seventh minute through striker Huynh Nhu.

But four minutes later Uzbekistan equalized from a quick counter-attack with defender Ugiloy Kuchkarova slotting the ball in.

The Uzbeks then began to attack constantly but Vietnam kept their cool and defended well. A counter-attack in the 57th minute got Vietnam a penalty after their player was fouled in the box. Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung made no mistake from the penalty spot and Vietnam again went ahead.

No more goals were scored in the remaining 30 odd minutes though Nhu fluffed two good chances.

The win took Vietnam to the top spot after the other game in group B between Hong Kong and Jordan ended goalless.

Vietnam are now in a good position to enter the third round since Hong Kong and Jordan are not considered very strong.

Vietnam have come with a young squad. Head coach Mai Duc Chung kept some key players like Nhu, Dung, Nguyen Thi Van, and Chuong Thi Kieu and called up the rest from the U19 team.

He said: "We want to rejuvenate the team with young players. That’s the future of the women’s team. In this qualification round, we can see that the teams in group B are at the same level and so we have to try our best to advance."

Vietnam next play Hong Kong on April 6.

Vietnam and Uzbekistan, ranked 6th and 7th in Asia, qualified directly for the second round. The five top teams, Australia, North Korea, South Korea, China, and Thailand have entered the third round directly.

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