|Four key members of the Vietnamese national women’s football team, including Van Su, Tuyet Dung, Hong Nhung, and captain Huynh Nhu (L-R)
The youngest player among the group is 19-year-old Ngan Thi Van Su who won the trust of head coach Mai Duc Chung by playing the full 90 minutes against Australia in the first leg of their Tokyo Olympic play-off on March 6.
According to statistics released by the AFC, during the first-leg fixture against Australia she played the full game whilst having 35 touches, eight successful passes, winning five duels, and taking one shot.
“As one of head coach Mai Duc Chung’s young brigade, the Hanoi teenager faced a steep learning curve against Australia’s Ellie Carpenter in Newcastle, struggling to find time on the ball and only completing eight passes throughout the match.
Despite the difficulties Vietnam faced at the McDonald Jones Stadium, she did provide a glimpse of her potential during the dying moments of the match, lashing a shot against the crossbar from well outside the penalty box in the 95th minute,” the article said.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung has also been named among the four players. During the tie against Australia she played the full 90 minutes, having 37 touches of the ball, completing 21 successful passes, winning three duels, whilst not taking any shots.
The AFC article notes, “A player with rare happy memories against Australian opposition, Dung scored twice against the Australian U-20 national team during a 4-2 defeat back at the 2018 AFF Women’s Championship in Indonesia.”
As the team’s oldest player, Tran Thi Hong Nhung was also mentioned after playing the full game against Australia. During the fixture she had 47 touches, completed 23 passes, made 17 clearances, and completed two interceptions.
“As the first Vietnamese player to play abroad, and as 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, once with a bullet header and once through a penalty kick - there was little that could have been done about either of these goals,” the AFC states.
Completing the list is the team’s lynchpin, captain Huynh Nhu. Despite only being able to complete 31 minutes against Australia, she had 16 touches of the ball, completed 10 passes with an 80% passing accuracy.
“A three-time SEA Games gold medalist and twice winner of the Vietnamese Golden Ball, Nhu is also her side’s top scorer in the current Tokyo 2020 qualifying campaign but has been used sparingly in matches against the continent’s top sides,” the article said.
The second leg of the 2020 Olympic qualifier is scheduled to be held at the Cam Pha Stadium in Quang Ninh province, a three-hour drive from Hanoi, on the evening of March 11.