Vietnam missed their once-in-a-lifetime chance to take part in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup after the national football team were beaten 1-2 by Thailand in a play-off on Wednesday to compete for the last and fifth ticket of Asia.
Thai forward Kanjana Sung-Ngeon netted two goals in the 48th and 66th minutes of the match at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City to take Thailand to the 2-0 lead.
Vietnamese substitute Tuyet Dung shortened the arrears to 1-2 by her spectacular long blast in the 86th minute.
The hosts Vietnam had another clear chance in the 90+2nd minute when defender Vu Thi Nhung entered the Thai box, dribbled the ball past a rival defender, and curved a shot to the far high corner of the goal frame, but the ball went wide by inches.
The loss meant Vietnam conceded to the Thais the last ticket of Asia to Canada next year to partake in the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Four other teams that won direct tickets to the competition include Japan, Australia, South Korea, and China.
In previous events, the fifth ticket from Asia fell to North Korea who are under a FIFA ban after five North Korean players tested positive for steroids in the biggest football doping scandal of 2011.
Chinese-born coach Chen Yun Fat of Vietnam admitted after the loss that, “Playing at home in front of so many people, family and friends with the biggest chance they have ever had of getting to the World Cup became an unbearable pressure and burden on my players.”
“We couldn’t show a lot of the ability and quality we have as the players were under such great stress to win this game and it affected the players’ mentality,” he was quoted by the Asian Football Confederation website as saying.
“…(The) very experienced Thailand team played better than us today,” said coach Chen. “Looking at this tournament now, we can see we have a lot to learn from it. We have to improve on mentality and strategy, particularly. It’s not only words but we have to put it into action, too.”