Huynh Nhu dedicates historic strike to absent fans
Quang Ninh: Vietnamese women’s national team captain Hunyh Nhu has reflected on scoring her side’s first ever goal against Australia, dedicating her long-range strike to fans unable to attend Wednesday’s Olympic qualifying play-off at Cam Pha Stadium.
The 55th minute strike wasn’t enough to drag Vietnam to a maiden Olympic appearance – with their 2-1 defeat on the night part of a 7-1 aggregate loss – but it did provide evidence of significant progress for the Southeast Asian side.
They had been beaten 8-0 by the Australians less than two years ago, suffered a resounding 11-0 defeat back in 2015, and never had found the net against the Matildas at senior level, with Nhu’s delicate long-range strike earning the diminutive forward a slice of history.
Quang Ninh: Vietnam’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifying play-off against Australia may have ended in defeat, but head coach Mai Duc Chung emerged a satisfied man after his side produced a much-improved performance in a 2-1 loss on Wednesday.
Beaten 5-0 in the first leg in Newcastle five days earlier, Vietnam looked to be headed for another heavy defeat when they went 2-0 down before the half-hour mark, but the Southeast Asians rallied after half-time, scoring a first ever goal against the Matildas via captain Huynh Nhu’s 55th minute strike from distance.
The 2-1 result was a far cry from the 8-0 defeat Vietnam suffered at the hands of Australia less than two years ago, and Duc Chung said his side’s showing was a testament to their spirit.
Quang Ninh: Australia head coach Ante Milicic commended his players after they sealed their place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by completing a 7-1 aggregate triumph with a 2-1 win over Vietnam on Wednesday.
The Matildas overcame a number of off-field complications, including playing Wednesday’s final match in a closed stadium due to Covid-19 precautions, but they were rarely tested on the pitch, going five games unbeaten to secure a second successive Olympic berth.
Tokyo 2020 - Play-off 2nd Leg: Australia seal Olympic berth
Quang Ninh: Australia sealed their place in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics women’s football tournament, beating Vietnam 2-1 on the night, and 7-1 on aggregate, to complete a convincing qualifying campaign at Cam Pha Stadium on Wednesday.
Early goals from Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso, added to Australia’s 5-0 first leg lead, before Vietnamese skipper Huynh Nhu produced a moment for the hosts to savour by spectacularly lobbing Lydia Williams from distance 10 minutes after the interval.
The Matildas win means Australia will be represented in both men’s and women’s football at an Olympic Games for the first time since 2004, with China PR and Korea Republic to compete for the final Asian ticket to Tokyo 2020 in the coming months.
Frisco: Olympic hosts Japan completed a forgettable SheBelieves Cup campaign, falling to a 3-1 defeat against FIFA Women’s World Cup holders the United States to finish the tournament without a point on Wednesday.
Asako Takakura’s side had more possession and more shots at goal, but the Americans sealed the title at the round-robin event thanks to goals from Megan Rapinoe, Christen Press and Lindsday Horan.
For the second time in the tournament, Japan found the net through mercurial forward Mana Iwabuchi, who reduced the margin to 2-1 in the 58th minute, but the Asian champions were unable to salvage a positive result.
Orlando: Olympic hosts Japan suffered their first defeat since the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, losing 3-1 to Spain in their opening SheBelieves Cup fixture on Thursday.
Nadeshiko star Mana Iwabuchi scored a sensational volley to level the match just before half-time, but two second half goals from Spanish youngster Lucia Garcia sealed the match and ended Japan’s five-game winning streak.
Japan will look to bounce back in their second match against England on Sunday, before facing the World Number One United States in their final match on Wednesday.
In Thursday’s other match, goals from Christen Press and Carli Lloyd helped the United States to defeat England 2-0.
SheBelieves Cup: White’s strike consigns Nadeshiko to defeat
Harrison: A late Ellen White goal gave England a much-needed win and consigned Olympic hosts Japan to a second successive defeat at the SheBelieves Cup in Harrison, New Jersey on Sunday.
White’s strike secured a 1-0 victory for Phil Neville’s side, putting Japan out of contention to win the round-robin tournament, which will conclude on Wednesday.
In an evenly fought match, Manchester City’s White emerged from the bench to convert the winner with seven minutes remaining, providing a much-needed boost for an English side which has won just two of their previous nine fixtures.