Vietnam qualify for eighth straight Women's Asian Cup
TUOI TRE NEWS
Updated : 04/12/2017 10:45 GMT + 7
Vietnam have made it to the finals of the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup for the eighth consecutive time after beating Myanmar 2-0 in Hanoi on Tuesday.
Vietnam has played host to Group D of the qualification tournament, in which 21 teams have fought for eight spots to the finals to be held in Jordan in April 2018.
During Tuesday’s clash, the hosts let the Burmese dominate most of the first half as they only needed a draw to advance, while the guests had to win at all costs.
Myanmar did have a chance to take the lead in the 27th minute, when midfielder New Pham was one on one with goalie Kieu Trinh but lifted her shot onto the bar.
After the half-time break, the hosts accelerated the game, with midfielder Tuyet Dung dribbling through two Burmese defenders to net the opener in the 54th minute.
In the 74th minute, Tuyet Dung forced the Burma keeper Mya Ngon to foul her in the box when she looked set to score, resulting in a penalty decision to the Vietnamese.
Although Huynh Nhu failed to convert the spot-kick, she quickly redeemed herself only five minutes later, scoring after an assist from Thuy Hang to settle the game.
Vietnam finished the qualification as Group D leaders after winning all four games, securing a berth in the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup.
The full list of qualifiers includes the top three finishers from the 2014 tournament - Japan, Australia and China, and hosts Jordan who qualified automatically. The other four teams are the Philippines, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam.
During the finals tournament from April 7 to 22 in Jordan, the eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four.
The top two teams of each group will qualify for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup, as well as advance to the knockout stage, which consists of semi-finals, a final and a third-place playoff.
The third-placed teams of each group will also advance to a play-off, where the winner will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
Unlike their male counterparts, Vietnam’s national women’s team are leaders in Southeast Asia, having competed in seven straight Asian Cup tournaments.
Analysts believe that the Vietnamese women can make history in Jordan by finishing well enough to earn a World Cup berth.
Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung said at a post-match conference on Tuesday that their goal at the 2018 Asian Cup is “not to finish at the bottom of the group stage.”