Vietnam have booked their place in the play-off round of the 2020 Olympic women’s football qualifying tournament after beating Myanmar 1-0 at the Jeju World Cup Stadium in the third qualification round on February 6.
A second-half goal scored by Ngan Thi Van Su ensured Vietnam a top-two finish in Group A regardless of the result of their remaining group clash against the Republic of Korea in three days’ time.
With Myanmar having suffered a humiliating 0-7 defeat against the Republic of Korea in their opener, together with the DPR Korea’s withdrawal at the last minute, Vietnam would only need an opening win against Myanmar to firmly seal their place in the play-off.
Given that fact, Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung deployed his strongest squad right from the start, with an attacking foursome of forwards Ngan Thi Van Su, Huynh Nhu and Pham Hai Yen, and midfielder Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung.
Facing underdogs Myanmar, the reigning AFF Cup and SEA Games champions promptly demonstrated their overwhelming power, dominating possession immediately after the first whistle and keeping the ball constantly run on the opponents’ half.
Vietnam put the Myanmar side under constant threats in the opening minutes with Van Su placing a shot wide and Huynh Nhu firing a header off the post.
Tuyet Dung came close to opening the scoring for Chung’s side, but her direct right-wing corner kick was unexpectedly caught by highly focused Phya Phu Ngon.
Van Su threatened to score twice a few minutes from half-time with a strike over the crossbar and a shooting attempt from outside the box that failed to beat the Myanmar goalkeeper.
Myanmar managed to produce some dangerous attacks thanks to the mobility of Nu Nu in the left flank, but the midfielder’s annoying passes into the box were not effectively utilised by her teammates.
Vietnam continued to set the pace of the match after half-time and were denied a goal in the 55th minute, as Huynh Nhu’s powerful header was pushed off the line by goalie Phu Ngon.
However, it took only seven more minutes for Chung’s troops to concretise their dominance. From the left flank, Hai Yen crossed the ball into the box and Van Su headed home from close to put Vietnam in front.
With time running out, Myanmar put up their pressure seeking to level up the score, but could not capitalise on any of their opportunities.
Meanwhile, Tuyet Dung almost doubled Vietnam’s advantage in the 83rd minute with a curler from the edge of the box which forced Phu Ngon to work hard for a save.
With their narrow 1-0 victory, Vietnam have earned a ticket to the play-off round of the 2020 Olympic qualifiers with one game in hand. Meanwhile, Myanmar officially crashed out following two consecutive defeats.
The ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) has announced the rescheduling of several regional tournaments slated for the next four months, with the AFF Cup 2020 to go ahead in November as previously planned.
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