The past few years has seen the Vietnamese women’s football enjoy some success on the international stage, including winning the AFF Women’s Championship title and finishing the SEA Games 2019 with a gold medal.
These positive results have elevated Vietnam’s position to 35th in the FIFA rankings and sixth in the AFC rankings. The AFC website confirmed, “The gulf between Vietnam and Asia’s traditional powerhouses also appears, slowly but surely, to be closing.”
This can be seen as the national women’s team had never scored against Australia prior their Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying playoff in March. While the 5-0 defeat in the first leg in Newcastle was the type of result that had previously been the norm, Mai Duc Chung’s side did themselves proud by only losing 2-1 in the second leg on home turf, with Huynh Nhu memorably scoring a 30-yard lob, reliving the goal in an article on the website.
“We know the gap between Vietnam and Australia is still large, therefore, when playing with Australia in the home game, we set a target to score a goal against them. That's something we had never done before,” Nhu confided.
She added, “Besides that, the expectations of our fans have had a huge effect on us. The whole team had to play with 100% effort to score a goal for the Vietnamese fans.”
“Playing against stronger opponents is a good way for the Vietnamese team to improve, so I also hope that the team will have more opportunities to go abroad and gain more experience from other countries in the region.”
“I also hope that the youth team will have more chances to practice and play because they are an important factor in deciding the future of Vietnamese football as they will help bring us closer and closer to a world-class level.”
Maintaining quality performances at the upcoming 2022 Women’s Asian Cup will be a huge opportunity for Nhu to represent the nation in a regional tournament and to progress to the World Cup.
“This is a big chance for the Vietnam women’s team,” the 28-year-old striker said, adding that, “With the number of participating teams increasing and Australia as the host, the opportunity for our team is now possible.”
“It is the best chance for Vietnamese football to make the World Cup dream come true. I believe that the leaders will have suitable plans from now to create more training programmes and tournaments for the team to play and gain experience, all looking ahead to the Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in 2023,” she concluded.
The next installment of the Women’s Asian Cup will take place in 2022, with India scheduled to host the tournament between October 28 and November 13.
During the competition, 12 teams will be divided into three groups. Following the conclusion of the tournament, play-off matches will be held in order to select who will go on to represent Asia at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.