A 2-2 draw against Myanmar Thursday sent Vietnam into the quarterfinals of Women’s Asian Cup as one of the best third-placed teams in the group stage.
Before the game, Vietnam only needed a draw to proceed, while Myanmar had no choice but to win. Showing better stamina, Myanmar played confidently and put continuous pressure on Vietnam right at the start, creating many chances in the first 25 minutes.
In the 26th minute, Myanmar found the opener after Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha yielded a penalty after committing a foul inside the box. From the penalty spot, Win Tun beat keeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh without fuss.
Noticing weaknesses in the two flanks, head coach Mai Duc Chung replaced both full-backs and the defense became more solid. However, Vietnam’s offense was struggling to create significant scoring chances.
In the second extra minute of the first half, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung took a corner and the ball curved straight into the net. This was not Dung’s first time, scoring directly from a corner. She had done this twice in 2015.
After the equalizer, Vietnam played much better in the second half. But even as the team was in attacking mode, a Myanmar counter-attack helped them get the lead again. Win Tun sprinted down the right flank and passed to Khin Tun, who beat keeper Thanh.
Chasing after conceding yet again, Vietnam equalized in the 62nd minute after Nguyen Thi My Anh dribbled past a Myanmar defender inside the box and was fouled. After a moment of hesitation, the main referee gave Vietnam a penalty. Huynh Nhu leveled the score with ease.
After the goal, Vietnam played defensively to protect the score while Myanmar were unable to create many chances despite their desperation to score.
The 2-2 draw helped Vietnam keep the third place in group C and advance to the quarterfinals as one of the best third-placed teams in the group stage. Vietnam’s quarterfinal opponent will be China. Even if they lose, Vietnam will have a chance to go to the Women’s World Cup through the play-off stages.
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