The Việt Nam national women’s team celebrate beating Chinese Taipei on Sunday. AFP/VNA Photo
By Thanh Nga
NAVI MUMBAI — Việt Nam’s World Cup prayers were answered on Sunday as the national women’s team beat Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the playoffs of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 in India, earning them a spot at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup for the very first time.
Defeat for Chinese Taipei means they join Thailand in the Inter-Confederation playoff, where a win will take them into their first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 31 years.
Việt Nam attacked from the off and midfielder Chương Thị Kiều headed home to open the scoring for Việt Nam in the seventh minute.
Việt Nam controlled possession well with clever passes in the midfield area, forcing Chinese Taipei to push up to try and take the initiative.
In the 11th minute, Trần Thị Thùy Trang won Việt Nam a corner. Kiều tried to get her head to the ball, but goalkeeper Tsai Ming-jung tipped it away. Thái Thị Thảo threatened the goal again with a dangerous long shot but was just off target.
Several minutes later, after a wayward pass from Trần Thị Phương Thảo, Su Yu-Hsuan escaped and fed the ball to Chen Yen-Ping, who knocked it past goalie Trần Thị Kim Thanh and into the net. However, the referee determined that Su Yu-Hsuan had let the ball go out of play before passing.
Reinvigorated, Chinese Taipei bounced back strongly and Việt Nam were forced into a period of defence.
In the last minute of the first half, Ting Chi had a shot in the penalty area, but the ball wasn’t hit with any real malice Kim Thanh easily caught it.
After the break, Chinese Taipei levelled the score with Việt Nam in the 50th minute. After a good solo run, Wu Kai-Ching fed the ball to Su Yu-Hsuan, who beat the goalie.
However, just seven minutes later, the Vietnamese team responded. From Thảo’s cross, Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy entered the penalty area and put the ball in the net.
While this goal was enough to secure qualification, it wasn’t all plain sailing; in the 58th minute, goalkeeper Kim Thanh was forced into making an excellent save after a dangerous cross from the right was met by Su Yu-Hsuan, but Thanh kept it out.
In the dying minutes, the Vietnamese team had two chances to kill the game, but couldn’t convert.
“I am so glad and happy that Việt Nam have gained the ticket to the FIFA World Cup. Việt Nam made every effort in this match. I thank my coach, Mai Đức Chung, and my teammates very much,” said midfielder Kiều after the match. VNS