Vietnam beat Chinese Taipei to qualify for maiden FIFA Women’s World Cup

By PTI

NAVI MUMBAI: Vietnam on Sunday scripted history as they booked a place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time after defeating Chinese Taipei 2-1 in their playoff tie here on Sunday.

In a physically draining tie, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy scored the winner after Su Hy-Ysuan had cancelled out Chuong Thi Kieu’s first-half opener as Vietnam confirmed their berth for the 2023 FIFA World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.

Vietnam, Chinese Taipei and Thailand have featured in a play0ff round after they lost their respective quarterfinal matches of the AFC Asian Cup here.

The triumph completed a remarkable journey as Vietnam overcame a COVID-19 outbreak prior to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup to book their place in the global showpiece in 2023.

Defeat for Chinese Taipei means they join Thailand in the Inter-Confederation Playoffs where a win will take them into their first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 31 years.

Having beaten Thailand 3-0 on Friday, Chinese Taipei entered the tie only needing a draw with Vietnam having defeated their Southeast Asian rivals 2-0 in their encounter on Wednesday.

That played a part in Vietnam’s aggressive start as they immediately dominated possession, forcing Chinese Taipei to defend deep.

Chinese Taipei found Vietnam’s crosses hard to deal with and it cost them as early as the seventh minute as Chuong rose almost unchallenged to nod home Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung’s corner.

Buoyed by the goal, Vietnam pressed forward but it nearly proved to be their undoing in the 19th minute when Su Hy-Ysuan latched onto a loose ball and raced into the penalty box before relaying it to a surging Chen Yen-Ping.

Chen slotted home but to Chinese Taipei’s dismay, the ball had crossed the touchline before Su had played it back.

Neither side found a way through in the remaining minutes of the first half but Chinese Taipei started the second in spectacular fashion as Su drew them level in the 49th minute.

The goal was the result of Wu Kai-Ching’s brilliance as the midfielder stole the ball, weaved past several Vietnam players and released Su who sent her shot into the bottom left corner past goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh.

The match had shifted in Chinese Taipei’s favour but Vietnam were undaunted and pushed forward with their positive play rewarded with a second goal in the 56th minute as Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy brilliantly controlled Thai Thi Thao’s cross before blasting the ball past Tsai Ming-Jung.

That was enough to take Vietnam to a historic first appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

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