Vietnam aim low against Australia in Tokyo 2020 women’s football qualifying play-offs

The head coach of the Vietnamese women’s national football team has set a humble goal for his players to only learn from their upcoming clashes with Australia in the two-legged play-offs of the Tokyo Olympics 2020’s Qualifying Tournament.

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The first leg will be played out at the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle City, Australia at 2:30 pm (Vietnam time) on Friday.

The Vietnamese side arrived at the Australian city on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday morning, head coach Mai Duc Chung said that facing such strong rivals as Australia is a good opportunity for the Vietnamese women to prepare for their future.

“Australia are currently ranked seventh while Vietnam are 32nd in the FIFA Women’s World Rankings. Therefore, such chances of playing them are really precious for Vietnamese women’s football,” Chung said, adding that his team are undergoing a rejuvenation phase in preparation for the far future.

Chung spoke highly of the Australian women for their “strong foundations of stamina and physique and much better professional experience.”

Mai Duc Chung (C), the head coach of the Vietnamese women’s national football team, speaks at a press conference in Newcastle City, Australia, March 5, 2020. Photo: Vietnam Football Federation

Mai Duc Chung (C), the head coach of the Vietnamese women’s national football team, speaks at a press conference in Newcastle City, Australia, March 5, 2020. Photo: Vietnam Football Federation

“We come here with the spirit of learning and will also play with the highest determination,” he emphasized.

According to Vietnamese captain Cu Thi Huynh Nhu, coach Chung has paid high attention to the team’s defense while the attacking line has  been made to practice a lot of counter-attack pieces in preparation for the play-offs.

The second leg between Vietnam and Australia will be held at Cam Pha Stadium in the northern Vietnamese province of Quang Ninh on March 11, with the aggregate winners booking an Olympics berth.

If the Golden Girls secure an aggregate win over the Matildas after the two legs, they will make history as the first Vietnamese side to qualify for the women’s football competition at an Olympic Games edition.

Hosts Japan and either China or South Korea, who are facing each other in the other play-off tie, will also represent Asia at Tokyo 2020.

Due to the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) epidemic, the China-South Korea play-offs will be played out much later, on April 9 and 14.

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