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Vietnam advance to play-off despite beaten by S.Korea in Tokyo 2020 women’s football qualifier

Monday, February 10, 2020, 14:42 GMT+7
Vietnam advance to play-off despite beaten by S.Korea in Tokyo 2020 women’s football qualifier
Vietnamese (white) and South Korean players vie for possession in their final Group A match in the women’s football third qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in South Korea, February 9, 2020. Photo: AFC

The Vietnamese women’s national football team have advanced to the play-offs of the Tokyo Olympics 2020’s Qualifying Tournament as Group A’s runners-up despite losing 0-3 to South Korea in the group’s final match of the third qualifying round on the weekend.

The game took place at Jeju World Cup Stadium in the southern island province of Jeju, South Korea on Sunday afternoon (Vietnam time).

Both teams came into Sunday’s match having sealed their places in the play-offs for two berths to Tokyo 2020 as South Korea thrashed Myanmar 7-0 last Monday, while Vietnam defeated their Southeast Asian rivals 1-0 on Thursday.

South Korea dominated from kick-off while Vietnam played defensively.

Despite their great efforts, the Vietnamese ladies conceded the first goal of the match in the 23rd minute.

Their goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh was called in action for many times after that.

However, South Korea doubled their lead in the 52nd minute and beat Thanh once more in the 83rd minute to seal a 3-0 win.

There are still three matches to play in Group B, with Chinese Taipei meeting China and Thailand coming up against Australia at Campbelltown Stadium in Sydney on Monday.

Australia will then play China on Thursday at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.

South Korean players celebrate a goal at their final Group A match against Vietnam in women’s football third qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in South Korea, February 9, 2020. Photo: AFC

South Korean players celebrate a goal in their final Group A match against Vietnam in the women’s football third qualifying round for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 in South Korea, February 9, 2020. Photo: AFC

Matches of Group B are playing out late because they have been moved twice — first from the Chinese city of Wuhan to Nanjing, roughly 530 kilometers away, and now a full continent away to Sydney after the Chinese Football Association withdrew as hosts amid the novel coronavirus epidemic, which first surfaced in Wuhan in December 2019.

Group A’s winner South Korea will face Group B’s runners-up in next month’s two-legged play-offs while Vietnam, who also advanced, will play Group B’s winners.

The AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament is a quadrennial international football competition organized by the AFC to determine which women's national teams from Asia qualify for the Olympic football tournament.

The third round of the 2020 tournament is taking place in South Korea for all matches in Group A and in Australia for all fixtures in Group B.

In this round, the eight strongest teams in Asia are divided into two groups.

Vietnam are in Group A with South Korea, Myanmar, and North Korea, while Group B consists of Taiwan, Australia, China, and Thailand.

The top two teams from each group advance to the play-offs for two berths to join hosts Japan in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

North Korea announced their withdrawal from the event in December for an undisclosed reason.

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