31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Feb 06, 2022 / 21:21

Vietnam book place in Women World Cup for first time

This is a remarkable end for Vietnam as the majority of the team were infected with Covid-19 before the tournament took place in India on January 20.

On February 6, Vietnam defeated Chinese Taipei 2-1 in the Women’s Asian Cup playoffs to attend the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 for the first time.

 FIFA praises the Vietnam team.

The opening goal from Chuong Thi Kieu at the 6th minute and Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy’s goal at the 56th minute increased the Vietnamese team’s lead in the match that Vietnam enjoyed the bulk of the possession (61%) and put pressure early on Chinese Taipei.

Vietnam played for the most part of the game in the belting sun and humidity in Mumbai, India.

“An aggressive Vietnam side left little room for Taipei to relax in a physically and vocally charged encounter that found players constantly reaching for a wet towel to deal with the conditions,” The Hindu reported.

“Vietnam were undaunted and pushed forward with their positive play rewarded with the victory,” according to the  Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

This is a remarkable end for Vietnam as the majority of the squad were infected with Covid-19.

“I must say we are very pleased. The team won as promised to the fans. No words can describe the joy at this moment,” Vietnam’s head coach Mai Duc Chung shared after the 2-1 win over Taiwan. “Vietnam’s goals are all very beautiful and timely. Thank you the team. I, like many others, have worked hard for a long time.”

“It’s great. We have never been to the World Cup. But the team has made history,” said captain Huynh Nhu. “This is a team effort. We didn’t give up from the first day.”

Huynh Nhu also hopes that this World Cup ticket will create a boost for the future of Vietnamese women’s football.

Before this miracle, the Vietnamese women won the SEA Games gold medal six times and the Southeast Asian Champion three times.

 Vietnam women's head coach Mai Duc Chung. 

“Beaten 3-1 by China PR in the quarter-finals, having earlier lost out to Japan and South Korea in the group phase, Vietnam saved their best football at the continental showpiece for these play-off matches,” the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) praised.

Having enjoyed a 2-0 win over Thailand – participants at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 – on February 2, only to see Chinese Taipei better that scoreline two days later, the Vietnamese went into today’s decisive match knowing that anything less than victory would see them fall short.

But they rose to that challenge, with goals from Chuong Thi Kieu and Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy securing a deserved and historic win in Navi Mumbai.  

Upon the milestone, local celebrities have shared joy and congratulated the team, giving them great support for the upcoming time.

Shortly after the win, Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc gave the team congratulations, praying their bravery, the spirit of the “descendants of Trung Sisters” that the “red-shirted female warriors” have shown.

On this occasion, President Phuc proposed that the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and relevant agencies consider worthy rewards to the team and make policies to continue developing women’s football.

Acting President of the Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) Tran Quoc Tuan shared “I am very touched by this achievement of the women’s team. The female players have overcome many difficulties right from the start of the tournament due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the team soon seized the opportunity and successfully realized the goal.”

“As early as 2018, when FIFA decided to increase the number of places to attend the World Cup, Vietnam immediately began to prepare for women’s football. We have made very good investments in the team by recruiting more players and experts and increasing foreign training trips,” he added.

The win has so far earned the team rewards worth approximately VND14 billion (US$600,000) from VFF, agencies, and local donors.

Based on rewards at the World Cup 2019 by FIFA, candidates of the World Cup 2023 will reap $750,000 each. But the rewards will likely double in the next tournament as FIFA pledged to. 

 Vietnam's women team at the match versus Chinese Taipei in India on Feb 6. Photos: VFF