Vietnamese women on verge of realising World Cup dream

Tuesday, 2014-05-13 18:00:06
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The Vietnam women’s national football team are close to qualifying for their first ever World Cup.
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Nhan Dan Online – The Vietnam women’s national football team are on the brink of making it through to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Canada.  

>> Vietnam storms into 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup finals

>> Vietnam to host 2014 Women’s Asian Cup finals

A top five finish at the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup finals, which kicks off in Ho Chi Minh City on May 14, will secure the team an official ticket to Canada next year.

According to Chairman Le Hung Dung of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF), the Vietnamese women currently have favourable conditions for making their long-standing World Cup dream come true. The question is whether the team will grasp and convert those convenient opportunities or not, Dung has said.

He affirmed that investment in women’s football towards best results at the 2014 Asian Cup and earning a 2015 World Cup slot ranks among Vietnamese football’s major tasks in 2014. The VFF has invested heavily in the women’s national team, providing overseas training and international competition in order to reach their objectives. The federation has also received support from managing agencies and sponsors to ensure adequate financial backing for the team to realise their ambitious goals.

There is really much to be proud of with the team having advanced into the knock-out round of the 2014 Asian Cup. The Vietnamese women created a miracle in the qualifying stage in Bahrain last May, finishing atop Group C with 24 goals scored in their three-game winning streak against Kyrgyzstan, Bahrain and Hong Kong (China).

The 2014 Asian Cup finals features eight teams. The four group winners from the qualifying round – Thailand (Group B), Vietnam (Group C), Myanmar (Group D) and Jordan (Group A) – move on automatically. The four wild cards – Japan, China, Australia and the Republic of Korea – make up the rest of the field, and are the odds-on favorites to eventually seize four of the Asian Football Confederation’s five World Cup slots. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has been banned from participating in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup because of doping offenses at the 2011 World Cup, which opens up a precious opportunity for the remaining teams, including Vietnam, to battle for the last berth.

The eight participating teams are divided into two groups in the knock-out round. Vietnam was placed in Group A alongside Japan, Australia and Jordan. The top two teams from each group will enter the semi-finals and automatically book a ticket to Canada. The two third-place finishers will meet each other in a play-off game to determine the fifth team from Asia which will play for glory at the 2015 World Cup.

The chances for Vietnam to qualify for the world championship for the first time ever are thoroughly realistic. The national team have set the target of finishing in third position of Group A and qualifying for the play-off match against Group B’s third-placed team, which is likely to be Thailand or Myanmar. According to football specialists, this objective is quite obtainable as Jordan is not a particularly strong opponent.

Despite the high possibility of progressing, the Vietnamese women must not let their guard down, as potential opponents Myanmar and Thailand could pose numerous tough challenges on the way to the continent’s last World Cup slot.

We hope that with such favourable conditions, the Vietnam women’s national football team will try their best at the upcoming 2014 Asian Cup finals to walk away with the remaining ticket to Canada for next year’s World Cup competition. Translated by Nhan Dan Online