Thursday, 02/11/2023 13:31

Việt Nam’s Olympic dream shattered out after 2-0 loss


Captain Huỳnh Như of Việt Nam is surrounded by Japanese players during their Olympic qualifier match on November 1 in Uzbekistan. Japan won 2-0. Photos of VFF

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam's Paris Olympic dreams came crashing down after a 2-0 loss to Japan in Group C's action of the Asian Qualifiers Round 2 on November 1 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

It was a tough match for the SEA Games champions as they needed to beat the former World Cup winners to get to the next qualification round.

Players also wanted a positive result as this was the farewell game of head coach Mai Đức Chung who will retire at the end of the year.

Under captain Huỳnh Như, Việt Nam tried to play fast football, bringing the ball to Japan's box to threaten goalkeeper Momoko Tanaka.

However, the world powerhouse were not an easy rival. None of Việt Nam's attempts were a serious threat.

Vietnamese keeper Khổng Thị Hằng was forced into a diving save following Remina Chiba’s looping header in the 17th minute.

She was called into action again in the 33rd minute when she easily collected Hana Takahashi’s headed attempt off Yui Hasegawa’s free-kick before eventually conceding seven minutes later.

Near the end of the first half Hinata Miyazawa broke through from the left wing before squaring the ball nicely for Risa Shimizu to tap-in.

Coach Mai Đức Chung takes charge of his last match as manager of the national women's side. 

Nine minutes after the interval, it was 2-0 for Japan after a scramble inside the box.

Saki Kumagai stole the ball and passed to Miyabi Moriya who found the back of the net.

Coach Chung made changes o improve the team's attack, but it did not work.

After the match Chung thanked his players for their great effort.

“Although we could not win I am pleased with how they performed and their spirit on the field," said Chung.

"Previously, we worried about a big loss to such as powerful rival who defeated us 7-0 at the Asian Games a few weeks ago. But this time it was only 2-0, an acceptable result for the team who showed their determination this match.

"I have to thank them for their hard work and good performance.”

Japan topped Group C with nine points to advance to the third round with Uzbekistan also advancing as the best-ranked runners-up after defeating India 3-0 in the group’s second match of the day.

Việt Nam were third with three points and India were at the bottom after losing all three games.

The group winners and the best-ranked runners-up advance to Round 3 – to be played in February 2024 – and will battle in two of home and away matches, with the victors of each filling the two places on offer for the Asian Football Confederation at the 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. VNS

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