Thailand’s goalkeeper Pannipa Kamolrat was the eventual hero, saving Nguyen Thi Hue’s effort in the shootout, before Hataichanok Tappakun sealed the victory with the decisive spot kick.
In the mean time, Vietnam played defence-attack. They surprised the hosts and, if luck had been with them, they could score a goal.
In the first half, Nguyen Thi Thanh had two spectacular shots, but she did not defeat goalkeeper Pannipa.
Another Vietnamese counter-attack nearly decided the match, with just over one minute to go, but Trinh Nguyen Thanh Hang could not reach the ball after she rounded Pannipa.
It was Pannipa who again stepped up to become the match winner in the penalty shootout, producing an excellent save to block Vietnam’s first penalty before Darika Peanpailun, Jenjira Bubpha and Hataichanok Tappakun each powered home their spot kicks to secure a parting gift for the home fans.
“Due to losing in the event’s semi-final, Thailand entered this game with the determination of winning the bronze medal. Vietnam also carefully researched Thailand’s style of playing. Today, Vietnamese players performed very well, they knew their rival’s tactics, and they were more confident compared to the semi-finals match [in which Vietnam was defeated 0-5 by Iran],” said Vietnamese head coach Truong Quoc Tuan.
“There are many young talents in Vietnam’s line-up at this year’s event. Vietnam reached the AFC event’s top four. I think that’s a great advance for the team,” said Tuan.
“During the event, the gap between Thailand and Vietnam has narrowed. We only lost to them in the penalty shootout. That is good luck in football,” Tuan added.
Meanwhile, Thailand head coach Udom Taveesuk said his players were very tired after competing in difficult games.
“You can see our players are very tired and their bodies could not reach the same level after our very hard game against Japan and the games before. Last night, we asked for an extra physio and more staff to help the players recover,” said Udom on the website the-afc.com.
“Thank you to the players for producing that effort, despite how tired they were, and being able to reach third place. But our target was to be the champions, so I’d like to say sorry to our fans. Regarding the whole tournament, I can’t say I’m happy about the result. After success at the SEA Games and Asian Indoor Games wins last year, I targeted the best for Thailand.
“We will learn from this and train to make our players better in the future. I must also improve tactically and teach the players to understand more. We can reach our targets if we do this. We will start a women’s futsal league in July, so hopefully that will help us develop and find more talent.”