Vietnam beat Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the AFC Women's Asian Cup to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup for the first time in its history at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai on Sunday.
Under the belting sun in Mumbai, Taipei players were particularly struggling with the heat and humidity and looked drained out several times during the game. Vietnam enjoyed the bulk of the possession and put pressure early on Taipei with a 6th-minute opening goal from Chuong Thi Kieu.
Su Hy-Ysuan cancelled Vietnam's advantage with a piercing shot through its defence to find the corner of the net in the 50th minute.
Vietnam still dictated play for most parts of the game as it did not allow Chinese Taipei space to trace the ball into the opposition half.
The game was as good as sealed in Vietnam's favour when Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy scored her side's second goal in the 56th minute, a two-touch goal from a long cross from Thai Thi Thao on the left flank.
Chinese Taipei came into the fixture needing just a draw to secure an automatic spot, the last remaining one from the tournament, to the 2023 Women's World Cup given both Taipei and Vietnam had defeated Thailand 3-0 and 2-0 respectively earlier in the playoffs.
However, an aggressive Vietnam side left little room for Taipei to relax in a physically and vocally charged encounter that found players constantly reaching for a wet towel to deal with the conditions.
The qualification is a remarkable end to a difficult campaign for Vietnam whose run in the tournament began with a COVID-19 outbreak in the squad. Players could hardly wait for the full-time whistle to go off, needing to be constantly checked by the line umpire to calm down in the dugout.
Chinese Taipei and Thailand have another chance to try and make it to the main draw of the World Cup scheduled in Australia/New Zealand in 2023 in the Inter-Confederation playoff next year. Given its current form, Taipei seems better placed than its Thai counterparts and if successful, will make it through to the marquee event after a gap of 31 years.
- PSV held by Dortmund in Champions League last-16
- Haaland goal lifts Man City within a point of Liverpool
- Ratcliffe completes purchase of 25% stake in Man United
- Napoli vs Barcelona LIVE streaming info: When, where to watch UEFA Champions League Round of 16 First Leg
- Al Nassr vs Al Fayha LIVE streaming info, AFC Champions League, Round of 16: When and where to watch Ronaldo play today?