Vietnam’s female football team have earned themselves a ticket to the finals of the ongoing Southeast Asian women’s championship following a close win over Myanmar.
The Vietnamese women pulled off a 5-4 victory over the Myanmarese hosts during a penalty shoot-out after a 3-3 draw in the semifinal of the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship on Tuesday night.
Scheduled for July 26-August 4 in Mandalay, Myanmar, the tournament is joined by eight teams from Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Australia U-20s, and Vietnam.
The Vietnamese players gave an excellent performance in the first 45 minutes of the game, despite being under pressure from some 30,000 fans cheering for the hosts at Mandalarthiri Stadium.
Vietnam played an attacking game that threatened the Myanmarese goal on multiple occasions.
Good work between midfielder Tuyet Dung and striker Huynh Nhu helped Vietnam score their first goal in the 15th minute before the midfielder scored another two minutes later.
The score could have been 3-0 for Vietnam if Dung had not failed to hit the target with a header in the 26th minute.
Pressure appeared to affect the Vietnamese women in the second half however, resulting in Win Theingi Tun narrowing the margin to one goal for Myanmar with her own headed goal in the 59th minute.
The Myanmarese women then managed to equalize following a mistake by Vietnamese goalie Kieu Trinh.
In injury time, Myanmar went 3-2 ahead thanks to a successful penalty granted when the ball touched a Vietnamese defender’s hand inside the penalty area.
All but over, a minor miracle seemed to unfold for Vietnam three minutes later when Nhu was knocked down inside the box, resulting in her teammate converting the equalizing third goal from the penalty spot.
A long interval followed before the whistle blew for extra time as Myanmarese fans threw objects onto the field in protest.
Following a goalless extra time, a penalty shoot-out was required to separate the teams, with Vietnam taking out the dramatic match 5-4 on penalties.
Coach Mai Duc Chung’s team are set to face Thailand in the competition's final on Thursday night.