Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Goalkeepers were heroes yesterday, as they played key roles in their semi-final matches of the National Women’s Football Championship in Hà Nam Province.
Defending champions HCM City 1’s goalie Đặng Thị Kiều Trinh saved two penalties, to help her team defeat Việt Nam Coal and Minerals 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out of the first semi-final match.
Later, keeper Lại Thị Tuyết of Phong Phú Hà Nam also blocked two shots from Hà Nội 1 players in the second semi. Hosts Phong Phú Hà Nam won 4-2, after the match ended 1-1 in the official time.
Despite being considered to be the stronger team, HCM City found it impossible to reach Việt Nam Coal’s net.
In the first half, the reigning champions did not have many chances to threaten goalkeeper Khổng Thị Hằng, as their attacks were stopped from their side.
The only threatening opportunity went to Hoài Luơng at the 24th minute, as the striker broke through Việt Nam Coal’s defence to face Hằng.
However, Hằng’s rapid reaction saved the net.
The second half was played in high speed. Both sides created a number of attempts, but failed to score a single goal.
Hằng proved her talent, when she denied Chương Thị Kiều’s finish near the box at the 81st minute.
A draw result in the official 90 minutes resulted in a strong push for Việt Nam Coal’s players, who also started the penalty shoot-out with high hopes.
Hằng met no difficulty in stopping Kiều from again scoring in this match.
However, she was not as good as former national keeper Trinh of HCM City 1.
Trinh succeeded in pushing away two kicks by Nguyễn Thị Vạn and Nguyễn Thị Trúc Hương.
Earlier, Phạm Thị Hằng of Việt Nam Coal made a shot that went wide.
In the second semi, Phong Phú Hà Nam’s Lê Thị Thu Hương opened the score just seven minute from the first whistle.
With only three passes, a ball was given to Hương, who made a strong sprint to close on Hà Nội 1’s box, before looping the ball over goalkeeper Nguyễn Thị Thùy Dương and into the net.
Former champions Hà Nội 1 needed 15 minutes to score an equaliser by Phạm Hải Yến.
Hồ Thị Quỳnh shot a perfect ball from a free kick to the box, where Yến was waiting. She jumped highest among players and headed straight to the net
The balanced situation was maintained throughout the rest time of the game, forcing two sides to the penalties.
Keeper Tuyết of Phong Phú Hà Nam stopped two finishes by Hà Nội 1’s captain Nguyễn Thị Muôn and striker Nguyễn Thị Xuyến.
While her teammates succeeded with four out of five penalties.
It was enough to make them the second team in the final match, which will be played on Sunday.
Việt Nam Coal and Hà Nội 1 shared third place. — VNS