Update: 19:43 | 24/09/2021
Vietnam crushed the Maldives 16-0 in their first match at the women’s Asian Cup qualifiers on Thursday night.
In the FIFA rankings, Vietnam are 32nd and the Maldives are 144th, but yet coach Mai Duc Chung decided to start with his strongest lineup.
Not surprisingly, Vietnam dominated, and the ball was in the Maldivian half for most of the game.
Vietnam players (white) celebrate after scoring against Maldives in the Women's Asian Cup qualifiers on September 23, 2021.
It only took 11 minutes for Vietnam to open the scoring through Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha. Two minutes later a Maldivian player scored an own goal.
Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung, Nguyen Thi Tuyet Ngan and Tran Thi Thuy Trang then scored to make it 5-0 at halftime.
With the Maldives’ attack being feeble, the Vietnamese defenders were under little pressure.
Vietnam did not slow down in the second half, and Chuong Thi Kieu scored in the 50th minute.
Between the 51st and 84th minute, Pham Hai Yen scored six goals to be later voted player of the match. In between her goals, Huynh Nhu, Thanh Nha, Tuyet Dung, and Ho Thi Quynh also scored.
But if Chung was pleased, he did not show it.
"I’m satisfied with the score but not happy with our performance.
The players missed many chances in the first half. If we had better efficiency, Vietnam could have easily scored 20 goals or more. This is a weakness we will have to address at our training sessions. We won this game because the opponents were too weak not because we were very strong," he said.
Vietnam are in group B that also originally had Afghanistan and hosts Tajikistan. But Afghanistan withdrew from the event, and now only the top team will qualify.
Vietnam will play Tajikistan on September 29.