Rising Vietnam look to conquer enthusiastic Chinese Taipei for 2023 World Cup spot

Thailand vs Vietnam - AFC Women's Asian Cup fifth place Playoff game
Thailand vs Vietnam - AFC Women's Asian Cup fifth place Playoff game
Navneet Singh

Vietnam’s charismatic women's football team skipper Huynh Nhu has won several domestic and regional awards since 2016. The 30-year-old striker is a guiding force for the team and all the youngsters look up to her.

On Sunday, Huynh is expected to lead from the front in a crucial match against Chinese Taipei in Navi Mumbai in a bid to finish fifth in the AFC Women’s 2022 Asian Cup. A win would enable Vietnam to gain entry to the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup.

In a do-and-die battle against Chinese Taipei, Huynh will want to write another glorious chapter in the history of Vietnam’s women’s football by sealing their maiden World Cup entry before hanging her boots.

A fourth spot at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games has been Vietnam's best performance at the continental level.

This year, Huynh’s team has already won the hearts of the people back home by staying Covid-19 free at the ongoing Asian Cup while also staying on a course for a spot at next year’s World Cup.

Vietnam outclassed Thailand 2-0

Vietnam lost 3-1 to China in the quarterfinals of the ongoing AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but stayed in the race for a spot in the 2023 Women's World Cup through the Playoffs after outclassing Thailand 2-0.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc praised the women’s team and head coach Mai Duc Chung for the win over Thailand on February 2.

It will be interesting to see how they put their best foot forward to gain an edge over Chinese Taipei, who are equally hungry to seal the fifth and final spot for next year's World Cup. The top four finishers in the Asian Cup earn automatic berths.

“Considering the meager resources for women’s football in Vietnam, reaching the Playoffs is a big achievement,” Shaji Prabhakaran, a former FIFA South Central Asia Development Officer, told Sportskeeda.

“It could be due to better training and opportunities. Vietnam’s performance in the ongoing Asian Cup indicates they have the potential to challenge top teams,” he added.

Edited by Sanjay Rajan


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