Two Vietnamese top players, Pham Hai Yen and Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, were on target as Vietnam kicked off their campaign in women’s football at the 19th Asian Games in China with an easy win to Nepal on Thursday.
Hai Yen earned Vietnam the opener and Bich Thuy widened the lead to 2-0.
Vietnam, who have targeted the second-place finish in their Group D behind reigning champions Japan, faced significant obstacles from Nepal’s strong defensive formation in the first half.
Head coach Mai Duc Chung brought a team including ten under 23-year-old players to Hangzhou, China, but they rarely threatened goalkeeper Anjila Subba’s net.
The scenario slightly changed after Hai Yen’s close-range goal broke the deadlock in the 53rd minute.
Vietnam exerted pressure on Nepal’s goal while their rivals, unable to maintain the defensive stance, opted to push forward aggressively in an attempt to level the score.
|Vietnam's Pham Hai Yen celebrates her goal in their Group D opener against Nepal in women's football at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, September 22, 2023. Photo: Duc Khue / Tuoi Tre|
The Vietnamese side’s offensive efforts rewarded them with the second goal by Bich Thuy, who successfully capitalized on a lofted pass from Duong Thi Van on the left wing in the 64th minute.
The match went on in Vietnam’s favor, yet the score remained unaltered until the referee blew the final whistle.
Vietnam are scheduled to play against Bangladesh, another poorly-regarded team in Group D, on Monday afternoon.
The 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China features a total of 40 sports and 481 events.
Vietnam dispatched a delegation of 504 participants and coaches, including 320 athletes, to the tournament.