After losing to China PR in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup quarter-finals and to the Korea Republic and Japan in the group phase, the Vietnamese national women’s football team gained momentum during the final playoff and defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1.
China, Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines earned their spots with quarter-final wins. A round-robin playoff between the Quarter-Final defeated teams determined the fifth automatic qualifiers, excluding Australia and New Zealand, who qualified as hosts. The three-game round-robin playoffs for the fifth place had commenced on February 2 between Thailand, Vietnam, and Chinese Taipei.
All three teams scored a win and three points each. The last automatic qualification position was determined during the Vietnam and Chinese Taipei match on Sunday, February 6.
Chuong Thi Kieu scored the first goal in the seventh minute in the final match. In the first 35 minutes, the Vietnamese team had 65% of ball possession and seven corner kicks, giving them a competitive edge. However, Chinese Taipei tied the score 1-1 at the 50th minute in the second half. Six minutes later, Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy kicked the winning goal.
Vietnam bagged the fifth and final spot to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup — marking their inaugural appearance at the top football competition. This is also the first time two ASEAN teams have qualified for the World Cup.
Coach Mai Duc Chung, Vietnamese national women’s football team head coach, revealed that the losses their team faced in the Asian Cup quarter-finals and group phase didn’t crash their fighting spirit and he was utterly pleased with the efforts they continued to show.
In an interview with FIFA, team captain Huynh Nhu said this victory was a team effort.
Huynh Nhu was previously quoted in the “Road to FIFA World Cup 2023” program saying, “Everyone did not give up from the first day until the last moment. I want to thank all my teammates and especially Vietnamese football fans for always supporting, following, accompanying, and cheering for the Vietnamese women’s soccer team.”
According to the Vietnamese team captain, the whole team shares the pride and joy to the country and to the community that has supported them in this journey. The team hopes to receive the same support in 2023.
Fans worldwide celebrated with the Vietnamese women’s team through social media posts. President Nguyen Xuan Phuc also extended his congratulations to Coach Mai Duc Chung and the team. He also assured the government would make greater efforts to show support and provide more suitable policies for female football development. Additionally, he requested the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, and other relevant agencies to grant the team the rewards they deserve for their remarkable achievement.