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Qualifiers R2 - Group B: Vietnam advance, Uzbekistan bow out in style


Tashkent: Uzbekistan produced a five-star performance against Hong Kong, but it was all to no avail as Vietnam grabbed the result they needed against Jordan to advance to the third round of the AFC Women's Olympic Football Tournament Qualifiers on Tuesday.

VIETNAM 2-0 JORDAN

Vietnam clicked into gear in the second half to seal their place in Round 3, eventually seeing off a stubborn Jordan to claim top spot in Group B with a 2-0 win at Transportation Institute Stadium.

The Southeast Asians needed only a point to confirm their status as group winners, but they left the pitch with all three after Nguyen Thi Van and Hunyh Nhu scored within two minutes of each other to finally edge out Azzedine Chih's side in the second half.

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With two wins under their belt going into the tie, Vietnam knew a defeat to Jordan and an Uzbekistan win over Hong Kong would be the only combination of results that could knock them off top spot, but they spent large periods of the match in a potentially perilous position.

A 0-0 stalemate at half-time, and regular news of Uzbek goals elsewhere, meant a single goal from Jordan could have been enough to throw Vietnam's Olympic dream into jeopardy, but Nguyen Thi Van's long-awaited opener in the 65th minute allowed them a collective sigh of relief.

With the pressure lifted, Huynh Nhu added a second two minutes later - ensuring she hit the back of the net in all three matches in Tashkent - to confirm Mai Duc Chung's side as one of the eight that will take part in Round 3 on the Road to Tokyo.


HONG KONG 1-5 UZBEKISTAN

Needing a Matchday Three miracle to advance, Uzbekistan held up their end of the bargain with a dominant 5-1 win over Hong Kong at Lokomotiv; a result rendered hollow by Vietnam's win across town.

Makhliyo Sarikova scored a hat-trick as a substitute, while Lyudmila Karachik bagged a brace as Uzbekistan proved too strong for the visitors, but it wasn't enough to undo last week's 2-1 defeat to Vietnam, which ultimately cost the Central Asians a place in the last eight.

With goals of the essence, Sarikova replaced Ugioly Kuchkarova in the 24th minute and had a near-immediate impact, scoring in the 31st and 43rd minutes to have Uzbekistan 2-0 up at half-time.

Karachick made it three in the 57th minute, before former Australian W-League Premiership winner Cheung Wai-ki pulled one back for Hong Kong a minute later.

At that stage, Uzbekistan were potentially one Jordanian goal away from a momentous turnaround, but their plans were scuppered by events at Transportation Institute Stadium, as Sarikova and Karachik both added late goals to round out a bittersweet 5-1 victory.

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