The Vietnamese national women’s football team was Friday beaten 1-2 by Japan in the semifinals of the Southeast Asian U-23 AFF Cup 2013, but on Sunday beat host Myanmar 3-1 to claim the bronze medal.
In the final game, U-23 Japan surpassed U-19 Australia in the penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw during the regulation play and won the championship title.
In the play with Japan in the semis, striker Minh Nguyet of defending champion Vietnam was in good position following a fast counterattack and successfully converted it into the opening goal at the 36th minute of the match.
Just one minute before the closing whistle, Japan created their only clear chance of the game, and Imai Haruka leveled it 1-1 with a long-range shot about 40 meters from the goal.
Excluding this chance, the Japanese players created few threats to the thick defensive wall that Vietnam set up to protect goalkeeper Kieu Trinh.
Then in extra time striker Takahashi Miyuki sealed the game in the 94th minute to take Japan to the 2-1 victory.
U-23 Japan will encounter U-19 Australia, who beat host Myanmar 2-1 in the other semifinal match.
The tournament included the participation of ten teams, with Vietnam, Jordan, U-19 Australia, Malaysia, and Thailand drawn in group A, and Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, and U-23 Japan in group B.