Vietnamese women eligible for 2015 World Cup play-off

Monday, 2014-05-19 11:40:04
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Vietnamese women (in red) deserve praise for their strong competitive spirit and determination despite the loss. (Source: bongdaplus.vn)
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Nhan Dan Online – Vietnamese women were half way to the 2015 World Cup in Canada as they qualified for the playoff match for the continent’s remaining World Cup ticket despite a 0-2 loss to Australia in their last Group A game of the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup finals on May 18. 

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Vietnam played comfortably from the beginning and threatened the Australian goal several times with strong attacks.

Vietnam should have gone ahead with two opportunities created by Nguyen Thi Hoa and Le Thi Thuong in the fifth and 12th minutes, respectively, which, however, were unsuccessfully converted into goals.

Defending Asian champions Australia paid back immediately with continuous offensive waves towards the Vietnamese side.

The deadlock was broken for the guests three minutes before half-time as they earned an indirect free kick level with the penalty spot. Emily van Egmond pinballed a low shot through the crowd of bodies on the goal-line and into the net off Thi Thuong for the opener.

In the second half, the Thong Nhat Stadium was engulfed in a deluge of heavy rain, negatively impacting Vietnam’s playing style, which forced the home side to concede a second following Katrina Gorry’s booming strike from 20 metres on stoppage time.

Japan defeated Jordan 7-0 in the day’s other game, to finish first in Group A with seven points, while Australia, who also won seven points, placed second due to an inferior goal difference.

Japan and Australia will enter the semifinals as the top two teams of Group A and automatically book tickets to Canada next year, while Vietnam will compete for the continent’s remaining World Cup slot in a May 21 playoff match against Group B’s third-place team, yet to be determined.