Coach Mai Duc Chung couldn’t hold back his emotion after securing Vietnam’s first ever ticket to Women’s World Cup after a sweet victory against Chinese Taipei on Sunday.
“We are very happy. The team won as we promised our beloved fans. No words can describe the joy I am feeling right now,” Chung said about the 2 -1 win.
“Vietnam’s goals were all very beautiful and timely. I can only thank the team for putting up a tough fight. After much hard work, we have achieved the sweet fruits of labor.”
The final whistle of referee Yoshimi Yamashita at DY Patil Stadium in India created a historic moment for Vietnamese women’s football, with the team bound for 2023 Women’s World Cup hosted by Australia and New Zealand in July next year.
Midfielder Chuong Thi Kieu, who scored the first goal for Vietnam in the seventh minute, said: “After many missed chances, we have finally secured our first World Cup ticket. We are so happy we’re just going to hug each other and cry.”
“The team faced many difficulties before and during the tournament, but we fought hard to repay our beloved fans who watched and cheered for us back home.”
Vietnam outshined their rivals in the play-off with 61 percent possession and 13 shots with five on target.
Before 2022 Asian Cup kick started, a series of Vietnamese players contracted Covid-19 while training in Spain.
As a result, only six players could fly to India, putting the team in danger of dropping out of the tournament. The day before the first match, coach Chung managed to assemble enough personnel to practice.
Chung admitted he had some regrets since Vietnam could only shown their true potential near the end of the tournament.
“If only Covid-19 didn’t affect players’ health, we could have performed even better. The players gradually recovered after being infected with Covid-19, so it wasn’t until the last match that they could perform the best.”
The team previously lost to South Korea and defending champion Japan before beating Thailand and Chinese Taipei.
They been rewarded with nearly VND10 billion (over $441,000) from Vietnam Football Federation, the government and businesses for the historic achievement.
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