Vietnamese women drop World Cup ticket opportunity

Thursday, 2014-05-22 11:17:45
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Vietnamese women miss a golden opportunity to realise their World Cup dream. (Source: vnexpress.net)
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Nhan Dan – The Vietnam women’s national football team missed the chance to join the world’s biggest football festival – the FIFA Women's World Cup – in Canada next year after they slumped to a 1-2 defeat against Thailand in their AFC Women’s Asian Cup fifth place play-off at Thong Nhat Stadium on Wednesday. 

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The pressure of claiming the first-ever World Cup appearance in front of their home fans seemed to be too great for the players, forcing them onto the defensive during the entire first half.

Thailand enjoyed the match’s first scoring opportunity as Silawan Intamee’s left-wing corner kick flashed across the box with Pikul Khueanpet inches away from connecting.

The home side struggled to create chances but their counter attacks did not seem to work against a superior Thailand.

Vietnam was set to lag behind on the stroke of half-time as Khwanrudi Saengchan’s free kick lofted into the host’s penalty area, causing a moment’s consternation amongst the defence and crowd alike, and forcing Vietnam goalkeeper Dang Thi Kieu Trinh to produce a smart save.

Just two minutes after the restart, Thailand broke the deadlock as Vietnamese defenders failed to block Sung-Ngoen who then beat goalie Kieu Trinh with an unstoppable close-range shot.

After the surprising goal, Vietnam had their attack line strengthened with substitute Tuyet Dung replacing captain Le Thi Thuong, in an effort to restore parity.

However, the host’s hopes for a comeback were shattered, as Sung-Ngoen doubled the advantage for Thailand four minutes after the hour mark, to the surprise of the Vietnamese women and nearly 20,000 home spectators at Thong Nhat Stadium.

With five minutes left to play, Tuyet Dung rocketed a powerful strike toward the left corner of the Thai goal and pulled a goal back for Vietnam; however, it was not enough to save the home side from the 1-2 loss.

With this defeat, Vietnam missed out on the continent’s last ticket to the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next year.