Captain Huynh Nhu scored twice in the thrashing 5-1 win of Vietnam women’s football team against Nepal in the first qualifiers of the 2024 Olympic on Wednesday night.
Vietnam are 33rd on world ranking and 67 places above Nepal. With such a level gap, Vietnam as the guest team dominated right from the get go. In the 11th minute, they got the opening goal by Nguyen Thi Hai Yen who received Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung’s cross from the left flank.
In the 36th minute, Huynh Nhu’s shot hit Samiksha Ghimire’s hand inside the box and Vietnam were given a penalty. From the spot, Nhu made no mistake to double the lead for Vietnam.
Tuyet Dung started the game on the left flank but switched to the right at the end of the first half and contributed in the third goal. She sprinted down and passed the ball to Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy in a comfortable position. Thuy’s finish was not strong, but it deflected off a Nepal defender and went into the net to goalkeeper Subba’s surprise.
Three minutes into the second half, Vietnam scored the fourth goal. From Hoang Thi Loan’s cross, Nhu got a reverse header to put it into the far corner and completed her double.
After the fourth goal, Vietnam slowed down. Head Mai Duc Chung subbed out key players like Hai Yen and Bich Thuy to save their stamina for the next game, which gave Nepal the opportunity to attack more. Although the pressure they created was not too big, the Vietnam defenders still made mistakes. In the 79th minute, Hoang Thi Loan lost the ball and Nepal had a quick counterattack. Defenders Diem My and Tran Thi Thu tried to stop Sabitra Bhandari but still let her escape and defeat goalkeeper Khong Thi Hang with an accurate finish.
This goal sent more than 1,200 Nepalese fans in Dashrath Stadium to celebration.
Vietnam did not give Nepal any more hope. In the first minute of additional time, substitute Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha took a shot from 25 m when she saw the opponent’s goalkeeper went up high and scored the fifth goal for Vietnam.
The 5-1 win helped Vietnam hold a great advantage before the second leg three days later. Group C originally had four teams, but after Palestine and Afghanistan withdrew, Vietnam and Nepal have to play two games to decide who will advance.
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