|Hà Nội 1 players celebrate with each other after winning a penalty shootout in the National Women's Football Cup's semi-final match on February 24. Photos of VFF|
HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội 1 will vie for the championship trophy against Việt Nam Coal and Minerals in the final of the National Women's Football Cup on March 1.
Hà Nội 1 on February 24 earned their slot after beating Thái Nguyên T&T in a penalty shootout while Coal and Minerals defeated Phong Phú Hà Nam 1-0.
Thái Nguyên played stronger than the former national champions in the first 45 minutes of the semi-final match. They created more threatening chances than Hà Nội but none of them were converted into a goal.
In the second half, coach Đặng Quốc Tuấn strengthened his front line with several changes, including national team striker Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhã. The team showed their power with consecutive attacks, pushing Thái Nguyên back in defence.
However, Hà Nội 1 also failed to find the back of the net past goalie Lê Trịnh Khánh Linh, leading to game to be decided by penalties.
Forward Nguyễn Thị Hải Yến was the only Ha Noi player to miss her shot, while Thái Nguyên's Lương Thị Xuyến and Lê Thị Thùy Trang came up short.
Hà Nội won 4-3.
"I am happy as we are in the final," said Tuấn after the match. "It was a tough game for us as we did not play well in the first half. The second half was better and we had chances to score but players could not make it. Luckily, we won in the shootout."
Tuấn said he appreciated Thai Nguyen players, who had gotten better recently. The more they played, the stronger they showed. There were players in the team who could make turning points of matches.
|Việt Nam Coal and Minerals players (in blue) defeat Phong Phú Hà Nam 1-0 in the semi-final match of the National Women's Football Cup.|
In the other semi-final, Hà Thị Nhài scored the only goal of the match at the 55th minute. Ha Nam goalkeeper Hải Yến made a deadly mistake as she could not catch a ball cleanly, giving Nhài a chance to shoot it straight to the net.
It was the second time in a row that Coal and Minerals beat Hà Nam at the National Cup. Last year, they won 2-0 in the group round.
"Coal and Minerals are a strong team but we will practise and be ready to beat them," said coach Tuấn of Hà Nội 1 when asked about his rival in the final.
His striker Hải Yến was also confident ahead of the gold-medal match.
"We work hard for every match, not only the final. I believe that the coaches will map out suitable plan for us to get a win. Our job is to follow tactics and make it work well," she said.
The final will be held at the PVF Football Centre at 3pm on March 1 and will be aired live on On Football channel, Youtube/Fanpage On Sports, VFF Channel and app On Plus. The winner will walk away with VNĐ100 million (US$4,200).
On February 28, Thái Nguyên and Hà Nam will vie for the bronze medal. VNS