Our youngsters will learn from this, says Vietnam's Chung
Newcastle: Mai Duc Chung hopes his young squad will benefit from their exposure to a top-class Australian side, after Vietnam’s hopes of reaching a first ever Olympic football tournament suffered a five-goal blow at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday.
At no stage did Vietnam give up the fight in the 5-0 first leg defeat, but the Southeast Asian champions were outclassed by Ante Milicic’s outfit, which boasts players with years of experience at the highest levels of the women’s game.
Tokyo 2020 - Play-off first leg: Australia 5-0 Vietnam
Newcastle: Australia moved to within touching distance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a dominant 5-0 win in the first leg of their qualifying Play-off against Vietnam at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday.
Sam Kerr became the Matildas joint all-time second highest scorer with a goal in each half, with Chloe Logarzo, Emily van Egmond and Clare Polkinghorne also getting on the scoresheet in a comprehensive display.
Vietnam’s defeat was an improvement on the 8-0 loss they suffered in the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, but the odds of the SEA Games gold medallists advancing to a first ever Olympics appear implausibly slim ahead of next Wednesday’s second leg in Quang Ninh.
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.
Tokyo 2020: Catley aiming to take club dominance to international stage
Newcastle: Fresh from winning silverware on the domestic front, full-back Steph Catley is hoping to keep the good times rolling when Australia face Vietnam in the first leg of their AFC Women’s Olympic qualifying play-off at the McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday.
One of six Melbourne City players in the current Matildas squad, Catley has been a regular contributor to the club’s dominant Australian W-League campaign, with the team winning 12 consecutive matches to easily become league Premiers, with the Championship trophy still up for grabs.
With such momentum behind her, and so many of her club teammates also playing key roles in the national team, Catley believes Melbourne City’s dream run can be a valuable asset to a Matildas outfit hoping to secure a second successive Olympic appearance.
Takakura: I'd be lying if I said there was no pressure
Tokyo: Asako Takakura will be hoping she has a stay to remember in her nation’s capital. As coach of the Nadeshiko, hosts at Tokyo 2020, her goal will be to reach the gold medal match at the Olympic Stadium on 7 August.
After a tough learning curve for a young squad at the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, Takakura’s troops have their focus firmly on this year’s Olympics.
FIFA.com sat down with the former midfielder and FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup-winning coach to discuss last year’s “disappointing” World Cup, and welcoming the world to Japan for Tokyo 2020.
Good buildup will take China PR to Tokyo 2020, says skipper Wu
Sydney: A fully fit China PR will be confident of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics by overcoming Korea Republic in a two-legged play-off next month, according to captain Wu Haiyan.
Having overcome all manner of obstacles to advance from Group B of the Final Round of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers in Sydney over the past week, the Steel Roses came within two minutes of securing top spot with a shock win over Australia.
A spirited, disciplined performance looked to have paid dividends when Tang Jiali put China ahead in the 86th minute, only for Emily van Egmond’s rocket in the third minute of added time saving the day for the hosts, whose draw was enough for them to top the group on goal difference.
Bell urges Korea Republic to remain focused for Play-offs
Jeju: Head coach Colin Bell wants his Korea Republic players to stay on their toes after the East Asians defeated Vietnam 3-0 to seal top spot in Group A of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Sunday.
The Taeguk Ladies found a way past an ultra defensive Vietnam with goals from Jang Sel-gi, Choo Hyo-joo and Ji So-yun to set up a date with the Group B runners-up in next month’s Play-offs.
Vietnam, who claimed second spot, will face the Group B winners with the triumphant teams from the Play-offs joining hosts Japan as Asia’s representatives at the 2020 Olympics.