|The Vietnamese women’s football team seen during a training session. – Photo baophapluat.vn|
HÀ NỘI — The Vietnamese women’s football team have a big chance to compete at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 after their rival, North Korea, withdrew from the upcoming third qualifying round of the Games.
In this qualifier, the eight strongest teams in Asia are divided into two groups to choose the best teams and second of each group for the play-off round. Group A consists of hosts South Korea, Myanmar, Việt Nam and North Korea. While Group B has Australia, Thailand, China and Chinese Taipei.
With this development, Group A has only three teams left, including South Korea, Myanmar and Việt Nam.
The opportunity for Việt Nam and Myanmar is increasing as they need just one win to reach the semi-finals.
However, Việt Nam are considered better than Myanmar, as they defeated them 4-0 to top Group B in the AFF Cup 2018, before winning the tournament. Việt Nam also showed their strength at the recent SEA Games 30 which was held in the Philippines.
“The withdrawal of North Korea is a good chance for Việt Nam to qualify of the Olympics. Of course, the task to get to Japan is not easy. However, if we train hard and focus, we have the right to hope. In this team, I called both veterans and young players to combine experience and youth,” said head coach Mai Đức Chung.
The teams will play in a round robin format (February 3-9) in South Korea to decide the top two teams from each group for the play-off tournament. At the play-off tournament, each team have a home game and an away leg. The two best teams to reach the final will be the Asian representatives at the Olympics, together with host Japan.
As scheduled, Việt Nam will play South Korea on February 3 and then face Myanmar on February 9. – VNS