Việt Nam ties India, reaches U20 Asian Cup second round

March 13, 2023 - 18:30
Việt Nam advanced to the next qualification round of the AFC U20 Women's Asian Cup after a 1-1 draw with India in Group F on March 11 in Phú Thọ Province.


Forward Lưu Hoàng Vân of Việt Nam (left) tries to take the ball from Indian midfielder Kajol Hubert during the AFC U20 Women's Asian Cup first qualifier on March 11 in Phú Thọ. Photos of VFF

PHÚ THỌ — Việt Nam advanced to the next qualification round of the AFC U20 Women's Asian Cup after a 1-1 draw with India in Group F on March 11 in Phú Thọ Province.

Both teams earned seven points but Việt Nam went on as the top group team because of goal difference. 

Việt Nam entered the match only needing a draw but suffered strong attacks from India, who had to win to go on in the tournament.

Their strong attempts eventually pushed them into the lead through midfielder Babina Devi's long shot in the 12th minute.

A stung Việt Nam immediately went on the offensive but had to wait until first half stoppage time for the equaliser, with Trần Nhật Lan drawing them level.

In the second half, the host players improved, with Ngọc Minh Chuyên,  Lưu Hoàng Vân and Tạ Thị Thủy taking turns attacking the Indian defence. However, their attempts were not sharp enough to score.

India tried desperately to find a second goal, especially in the last 15 minutes, with long balls sent to Việt Nam's box for their strikers, however they could not overcome Viet Nam's focused and firm defenders.

Việt Nam Football Federation Trần Quốc Tuấn congratulated the team and decided to give them a bonus of VNĐ200 million (US$8,500).

Vietnamese players celebrate their qualification for the next round after drawing 1-1 against India. 

Speaking to reporters at the post-match conference, coach Akira Ijiri of Việt Nam thanked the thousands of supporters who came and encouraged his team. He was surprised to see so many people come to the stadium in his team's debut at the tournament.

He said their encouragement played a key role helping Việt Nam earn a good result against India. He confirmed that his players would work harder in the second qualification round.

Captain Lê Thị Bảo Trâm said India preferred long balls so she asked teammates to read the situation well and had plans to block Indian strikers.

Conceding an early goal made Trâm and teammates feel a little difficulty. However, when they found the equaliser, things were easier for the hosts.

Coach Maymol Rocky regretted as her Indian girls received only one point from this match.

“My players did a good job and scored a goal first. We tried hard to find more goals but some players made mistakes," said Rocky, who was impressed with Vietnamese players Lan, Thủy and Chuyên.

In the earlier match, Indonesia ended third after a 4-0 win over Singapore. 

With both teams having lost their earlier matches, the tie at Việt Trì Stadium was to avoid finishing at the bottom.

Indonesia opened the scoring in the 11th minute thanks to Helsya Maeisyaroh.

It was a lead they were never in danger of losing as forward Marsela Yuliana Awi doubled their advantage in the 37th minute.

Midfielder Liza scored Indonesia's third in the 67th minute with Marsela getting her second 11 minutes from the final whistle. 

Indonesian Rudy Eka Priyambada shared that the team learnt a lot from this event and that Việt Nam and India were much better than teams Indonesia played previously. 

He said his team needed time to prepare for the next tournament and would definitely play better.

Meanwhile, Hew Seem Chris of Singapore discussed the many weaknesses of her team, which scored zero goals but conceded 22.

She said Singapore faced strong rivals in this tournament. It means that they would have to practise harder so that when they were back in action for the AFF championship in June they would be a stronger team.

The draw for the second round of the qualifiers will be held after the completion of the first round on March 12, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

For the second round, scheduled for June 3-11, the eight teams will be drawn into two groups of four teams.

The four best sides will earn a spot in the Finals alongside the three highest seeds from the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019: champions Japan, North Korea and South Korea and host Uzbekistan on March 3-16, 2024. VNS