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VN crush Hong Kong 5-0, on to quarter-finals

HCM CITY  — Viet Nam women’s football team crushed Hong Kong 5-0 yesterday, finishing second in the group stage of the 17th Asian Games (ASIAD) in Incheon, South Korea.

Header: Captain Nguyen Thi Muon of Viet Nam (left) makes a header during a match against Hong Kong yesterday in South Korea's Asian Games. Viet Nam won 5-0.
Header: Captain Nguyen Thi Muon of Viet Nam (left) makes a header during a match against Hong Kong yesterday in South Korea’s Asian Games. Viet Nam won 5-0.

Viet Nam’s win promotes them from Group C to the quarter-finals.

It was Viet Nam’s fourth win in a row at the tournament.

Coach Mai Duc Chung made changes to the starting line-up.

Midfielder Tran Thi Thuy Trang, wingback Vu Thi Nhung and striker Nguyen Thi Minh Nguyet started from the bench.

Improvements to the team’s overall fitness, playing against a weaker opponent and with group advancement on the line, Viet Nam quickly asserted control to contain the play to Hong Kong’s half.

Within four minutes, Hong Kong defender Wong So Han delivered Viet Nam’s first notch on the scoreboard.

Nhung sprinted forward to take up a loose ball left for grabs, forcing Wong into a rushed attempt at clearing the ball, inadvertently heading the ball into her goalie’s net.

Viet Nam’s attack became livelier with the early lead.

Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung doubled the advantage with a penalty conversion after teammate Nguyet was fouled by He Ying in the box.

Hong Kong ventured forward in search of goals, but it took 38 minutes to find a real chance when Wong Shuk Fan’s close range rebound was blocked by Vietnamese goalie Dang Thi Kieu Trinh.

The 38th minute was the only real threat Hong Kong posed to the Vietnamese goalkeeper, who spent most of the first half watching her teammates dominate the far end of the pitch.

Another penalty was awarded to Viet Nam’s Nguyen Thi Muon after she was fouled in the box. Dung once again took the kick. Her effort was promptly met by Hong Kong goalie Leung Wai Nga but the referee granted a retake after Hong Kong players encroached the penalty before Dung took the shot.

Second time around, defender Nguyen Thi Xuyen gave Leung no chance with a rising shot to the far high corner of the goal.

Hong Kong put their heart and soul into the game after the break, but they simply could not match the Vietnamese side both in quality and tactics.

Hong Kong conceded two more goals to second-half substitutes Minh Nguyet and Pham Hai Yen.

Viet Nam will face familiar but tough foes, Thailand, in the first quarter-final match on Friday at the Namdong ASIAD Rugby Field.

The convincing win yesterday sent a warning message to Thailand who have often come out on top in recent match-ups.

In their latest meet, Thailand beat Viet Nam 2-1 in a World Cup play-off match in HCM City in May.