|(rom left to right) Ngân Thị Vạn Sự, Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung, Trần Thị Hồng Nhun g and Cù Thị Huỳnh Như are Vietnamese players receiving AFC's praise. Photo the-afc.com|
HÀ NỘI — The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has named four Vietnamese players as the ‘hometown heroes’ ahead of the team’s clash against Australia in the Tokyo Olympics qualifying play-off on Wednesday in Quảng Ninh Province.
Entitled “Hometown heroes: The players who have to power Việt Nam”, AFC mentions two strikers Cù Thị Huỳnh Như and Ngân Thị Vạn Sự, midfielder Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Dung and defender Trần Thị Hồng Nhung.
Among them, Sự is a young player but has won over the coaches since her debut for the national team at last December’s Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
The 19-year-old also secured a berth in the first team in the first leg match against Australia last week. She nearly scored in the dying stages of the match but her shot hit the cross bar.
The youngster played the full match and produced 35 touches, eight successful passes and five duels won along with her close effort.
The continental governing agent predicts that: “Inches away from a historic goal on that occasion, Sự will be aiming to go one better on Wednesday.”
Her senior teammate Như was on the field for about 30 minutes in the second half but she made 10 passes with an 80 per cent accuracy rating.
The national top scorer who won three SEA Games titles made AFC believe she could be one to watch in the return leg.
The two-time national Golden Ball winner also promised to score the first ever goal for Việt Nam on Australian senior team’s net at the Cẩm Phả Stadium.
Defender Nhung lures attention as she is the first female Vietnamese player to appear for an overseas team in Thailand last year.
“The team's oldest and most experienced defender Nhung faced the arduous task of trying to limit the influence of Sam Kerr in Newcastle, and - while the star striker found the net twice with a bullet header and a penalty kick - there was little that could have been done about either of her goals,” said AFC who counted there were 23 passes, 17 clearances and two interceptions by Nhung during her 90 minutes.
Midfielder Dung is the only Vietnamese woman to score against Australian so far, twice against the U20 team at the AFF Championship in Indonesia in 2018 when Việt Nam lost 2-4.
AFC said: “She was a reliable distributor for Việt Nam in the opening leg, finding a teammate with 21 of 24 passes, but the 26-year-old – who scored eight international goals in 2019 – will need to be found in more advanced areas if her side are to achieve a positive result”.
Dung was previously well-known in the world after she twice found the back of the net from corner kicks in a single match during the 2015 AFF Women’s Championship. VNS