Vietnam’s women scored a big pre-World Cup boost on Monday by beating Myanmar 2-0 to win gold at the Southeast Asian Games.
Thi Thanh Nha Nguyen made sure of a fourth gold in a row with a curling shot in the 76th minute, delighting the large Vietnamese contingent among the more than 8,000 fans at Phnom Penh’s Olympic Stadium.
Captain Huynh Nhu, who opened the scoring in the 12th minute, said the win would serve as a boost ahead of the global showpiece starting in July.
“This victory makes us become more confident when playing in big tournaments like the World Cup,” said the Portugal-based forward.
“It also increases the belief of the fans.”
Coach Mai Duc Chung agreed that the regional win was “a preparatory step on the way to” the tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
Ranked 33rd in the world, Vietnam is one of only two Southeast Asian teams headed to the Women’s World Cup, along with the Philippines.
The Golden Stars will play holder the United States in its first group game on July 22, before meetings with Spain and Portugal.
Huynh’s tap-in was all that separated the teams after an even first half.
In the second half, Myanmar launched a number of counterattacks, but could never find the final touch, before substitute Nguyen’s handsome effort effectively finished the contest.
In the bronze-medal match earlier Monday, Thailand battered hosts Cambodia 6-0, Saowalak Pengngam and Pattaranan Aupachai with a brace each.
The other goals were from Panittha Jeeratanapavibul and Jiraporn Mongkoldee, whose 25th-minute strike made her the top scorer in the competition, on six goals.
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