“Despite the difficulties facing them, Vietnam can take heart from their recent achievements,” stated the International Football Federation (FIFA) in an article published on its website, FIFA.com, on March 30, analysing Vietnam’s outlook for their maiden Women’s World Cup appearance.
A photo of Vietnam's women team featured on FIFA.com
Opening the article, FIFA praised the milestone achievements that Vietnamese football has attained over recent years, starting from their debut at a FIFA World Cup tournament, the 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Colombia, to their second World Cup appearance at the 2017 FIFA U20 World Cup in the Republic of Korea (RoK) and the incredible runners-up finish of Vietnam U23s at the 2018 AFC U23 Championship in China.
The federation also highlighted the opportunity for Vietnam’s women team, led by head coach Mai Duc Chung, to create their own milestone success, as a top-five finish at the upcoming 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup will see them make it through to their first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Chung and his players will kick-start their AFC Asian Cup campaign next week, with the ultimate goal of securing a place at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
However, Vietnam’s ambition to become one of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC)’s five World Cup ticket holders is faced by a tough challenge, as they have been drawn in a “group of death”, with the presence of three football powers: Japan, Australia, and the Republic of Korea (RoK).
Despite that fact, FIFA stated that, with what they have gained over recent years, Vietnam can definitely be hopeful.
It quoted head coach Mai Duc Chung as saying that Vietnam have focused on youth development for years and the efforts have begun to bear fruit, with good results gained over recent years, including the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games title in 2017.
Vietnamese women are now undergoing a training course in Germany, during which they held the Bayern Munich women’s team to a 1-1 draw, while securing an incredible 11-0 win over Monchengladbach, currently second place in the Bundesliga standings. The games are considered as excellent warm-ups for Mai Duc Chung and his players ahead of their AFC Asian Cup campaign in Jordan.
As scheduled, Vietnam will play their Asian Cup opener against Japan on April 7, before taking on Australia and the RoK on April 11 and 13, respectively.
2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup groups
Group A: Jordan, China, Thailand, Philippines
Group B: Japan, Australia, Republic of Korea, Vietnam