By Thanh Nga
NAVI MUMBAI — Following the 3-1 win of the Vietnamese national men’s football team against China in the third round of World Cup qualification, more good news came in the Lunar New Year as the Việt Nam national women’s team beat Thailand 2-0 in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 play-offs, held in India on Wednesday afternoon.
Việt Nam dominated the game right from the opening whistle, and Cù Huỳnh Như and Thái Thị Thảo scored the goals for Việt Nam in the first half.
In the 10th minute, Việt Nam had the first shot on the Thai goal, but striker and captain Huỳnh Như’s shot lacked power.
The Vietnamese team continuously broke through the Thai defence on the right wing, with good coordination between Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy, Huỳnh Như and Hải Yến.
Though Việt Nam were dominant, Thailand were no pushovers with lots of strong wing play.
In the 18th minute, Huỳnh Như had a second chance to grab the opener for Việt Nam but couldn’t beat goalie Thai W. Boonsing.
However, a minute later, Huỳnh Như broke the deadlock on her third attempt. It was her second goal in the Women’s Asian Cup this year.
In the 24th minute, the Vietnamese women’s team increased the score to 2-0 after Thảo’s header from a corner kick.
The Thai team tried to mount a comeback but could not break down the well-drilled Vietnamese defence.
Several minutes after the break, Huỳnh Như continued to excite fans with what looked like a third goal, but it was ruled out for offside after the referee consulted VAR.
Thailand bounced back strongly to bring the ball closer to the Vietnamese goal, but could not get the ball into the penalty area.
Hải Yến had a good free kick from a favourable position in the 64th minute, but the ball hit a Thai defender’s foot and went out for a corner.
Although Thailand had more possession, Việt Nam controlled the game well and never looked in any real danger.
In the dying minutes, there was red-card drama as Thailand’s Kanchanaporn Saenkhun was sent off for bringing down Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhã who was clear on goal.
The round-robin play-off includes three teams Chinese Taipei, Thailand and Việt Nam, all losing quarter-finalists. The winner of the play-offs will earn an automatic slot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.
The next set of matches will see Thailand will play Chinese Taipei on Friday, and conclude with Chinese Taipei facing Việt Nam on Sunday. VNS