Update: 18:48 | 09/03/2019
Vietnamese female U16 team tied 0-0 with their Iranian rivals during their last Group A match under the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U16 Women’s Championship’s second qualifier in Laos on March 7, booking their berth at the finals for the first time, scheduled to take place in Thailand this September.
One point gained from the match was enough for female coach Nguyen Mai Lan’s side to finish second in Group A with four points, behind leaders Australia (nine points), who beat hosts Laos 3-0 later the same day, helping Vietnam consolidate their second place and progress to the final tournament as one of the top two teams in the table. Laos (three points) and Iran (one point) were eliminated.
Vietnam (in red) and Iran’s players in action during their final match under the AFC U16 Women’s Championship’s second qualifier in Laos on March 7.
With the determination for a win to have the opportunity to go on, head coach Nguyen Mai Lan fielded her strongest squad, which was used in the 1-0 winning opener against Lao U16s, but Iran proved to be tough opponents as they had four dangerous situations against the goal of keeper Dao Thi Kieu Oanh.
Vietnam missed their two chances to open the scoring in the early minutes, but Iran owned the most notable opportunity in the first half as they were granted a penalty in the injury time. However, captain Jalalnasab fired the ball wide over the bar to the relief of the Vietnamese players. The first half ended with a goalless draw.
In the second half, Vietnam maintained their formation against overwhelming opponents. Goalkeeper Dao Thi Kieu Oanh continued to show her excellence over the remaining 45 minutes to keep the 0-0 result until the final whistle.
Vietnam women’s U16 lineups in the match against Iran U16s.
Later the same day, in the last match of Group A, hosts Laos could not earn a point against unbeaten Australia, suffering a 3-0 loss and giving the ticket to the finals to Vietnam.
The Vietnamese U16s are expected to have departed for Vietnam today, before preparing to enter the biennial championship in Thailand from September 15 to 28, featuring a total of eight teams competing, namely hosts Thailand, defending champions DPR Korea, 2017 runners-up Korea Republic, 2017 third place Japan, Australia, Vietnam, China and Bangladesh.