Vietnam’s women’s football team will play powerhouse Australia in a two-leg playoff next month, with a berth in the Tokyo Olympic Games in the summer on the line.
Vietnam’s women’s football players celebrate their 1-0 win over Myanmar in Group A of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers at the Jeju World Cup Stadium on February 6th. (Photo: the-afc.com)
Vietnam’s women’s football team is ranked 32nd
in the world and sixth in Asia, and has never competed in any World Cup or
Meanwhile, the Australian team stands seventh
in the world and is top in the continental rankings. The team has taken part in
seven out of eight World Cups and advanced to the quarter-finals three times in
2007, 2011 and 2015.
Australia has also entered three Olympics and
made the last-eight round twice.
In head-to-head meetings between two teams in
the past 10 years, Vietnam lost all seven matches, scoring two goals and
conceding 37. In their latest meeting at the 2018 Asian Cup, Australia won 8-0.
Chung said he knows the scale of the challenge
ahead of him.
"It is good for us to reach this
playoff. The next rival will be very strong, even stronger than the Republic of
Korea (who defeated Vietnam 3-0 in the third qualifier),” said Chung.
Midfielder Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung also said
Australia is the toughest rival for Vietnam in her 10-year career.
"We may not be worse than some teams but
Australia is different. They are better in terms of physique and
technique,”said Dung who was in the senior Vietnamese team that lost 4-2 to U20
Australia in the AFF Cup semi-finals in 2018.
"I think the best way is to limit our mistakes
and cover our weak points so we can make something of the matches. Of course,
we will not give up early but compete for national pride.”
The 70-year-old coach Chung said he will seek
several friendly matches to prepare his team.
The COVID-19 outbreak would make it difficult
to get an international team to come to Vietnam, so he said he wants his
players to play local men’s teams instead.
"If there is no international friendly, I
would like to sharpen my players’ skills with several men’s team who are tall
and big and good at high balls similar to the Australians,” said Chung.
The players will have a few days rest before
returning to training next week in Hanoi.
They will visit Australia on March 6th for the
first leg and host the Australian team five days later at Quang Ninh province’s
Cam Pha Stadium./.
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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Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said for the first time on Monday that the Tokyo Olympic Games may need to be postponed if the event cannot be held in its "complete form" due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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