Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s national women’s team seeks to earn a berth in the final round of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup by leading Group D in the qualifying round.
Việt Nam will compete alongside Myanmar, Iran, Syria and Singapore in the group round, which will be held at the Việt Nam Youth Football Training Centre in Hà Nội next month.
In the latest FIFA rankings, Việt Nam is ranked No 32 in the world. In the Asian region, Việt Nam is only ranked behind Australia (world No 6), Japan (No 7), North Korea ( No 10), China (No 13), South Korea (No 18) and Thailand (No 30).
Meanwhile, Việt Nam’s rivals, Iran, Syria and Singapore, are not listed in FIFA rankings because they did not play well in 2016. Only Myanmar was ranked, reaching 43rd in the world.
“In group D, Việt Nam will battle with strong rivals Myanmar and Iran. However, we will not be matched with Syria and Singapore,” said coach Mai Đức Chung.
“We will try our best to gain a slot on our home turf to play in the final round of the AFC tournament,” Chung added.
According to Chung, if Việt Nam is focused and takes full advantage of opportunities, they can complete their goal.
Since early this month, the team begun training for the tournament.
Chung brought together 26 players from five teams, including Hà Nam, Hà Nội and HCM City, with veterans such as Nguyễn Hải Hòa and Nguyễn Thị Bích Thủy, along with youngsters such as Hà Thị Nhài, Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hằng and Đỗ Thị Nguyên Hải.
Despite rainy days, the Việt Nam team continues training.
“I am satisfied with my players’ training spirit. There is not much time for us, so we must focus on practice, physical strength and exercise,” said Chung.
Việt Nam will play their first match against Syria on April 5. The other matches will be versus Singapore (April 7), Iran (April 9) and Myanmar (April 11).
The finals of the tournament, which will be held from April 7 to 22 next year in Jordan, will also serve as the Asian qualifiers for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019. The five best teams will book their tickets to Paris.
Three year ago, the finals were held in HCM City, though Việt Nam failed to earn a ticket to the Canada 2015 World Cup after losing 1-2 to Thailand. — VNS