Vietnam was one of eight debutantes in an expanded World Cup field in New Zealand and Australia. The team entered the tournament with modest expectations, aiming to make their mark on the international football stage and represent their country.

Duc Chung, who had likened the formidable United States team to a “formidable mountain” leading up to Saturday’s match, expressed satisfaction with his team’s commendable performance in the face of the unyielding American offense.

“We made a concerted effort to hinder the offensive efforts of the U.S. team. We strategized and devised defensive tactics to counter their attacks,” he stated, with the aid of a translator. “Regarding our team’s morale and determination, we are extremely content with our performance today.”

He commended his goalkeeper, Tran Thi Kim Thanh, for her exceptional performance, as she consistently worked hard to defend against the opposing team’s advances and prevent them from entering the final third of the field.

Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA forward Sophia Smith (11) scores a goal past Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh (14) in the first half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup at Eden Park. Photo: Reuters

Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA forward Sophia Smith (11) scores a goal past Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh (14) in the first half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park. Photo: Reuters

During the first half, she made an impressive save on a penalty shot by U.S. veteran Alex Morgan. This remarkable stop was a result of countless hours of preparation, as acknowledged by Duc Chung.

“This was a valuable lesson for us to gain experience from,” stated Duc Chung. “I am extremely pleased with the performance of our goalkeeper.”

The upcoming match between Vietnam and Portugal is scheduled for Thursday in Hamilton.

Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA forward Sophia Smith (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring her second goal against Vietnam in the first half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup at Eden Park.  Photo: Reuters

Jul 22, 2023; Auckland, NZL; USA forward Sophia Smith (11) celebrates with teammates after scoring her second goal against Vietnam in the first half of a group stage match in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup at Eden Park. Photo: Reuters