AFF Women's Championship

Huynh Nhu goal seals Vietnam’s title


Chonburi: Vietnam emerged as champions for the third time, ending Thailand’s bid for a fourth successive title with Huynh Nhu scoring in a 1-0 extra-time win in the 2019 AFF Women’s Championship Final on Tuesday.

The highest ranked side in the tournament, Mai Duc Chung’s side lived up their billing to add the regional title to the 2017 SEA Games gold medal they won in Kuala Lumpur.

Earlier, Myanmar defeated the Philippines 3-0 to finish in third place.

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FINAL: THAILAND 0-1 VIETNAM (AET)

Vietnam won the Southeast Asian title for the first time since 2012, outlasting the hosts thanks to captain Huynh Nhu’s extra-time winner to complete five wins from as many matches in the competition.

With three SEA Games gold medals to his name, Vietnam's success means veteran coach Mai Duc Chung has completed his quest for an ASEAN title after several close calls.

Nhu’s strike separated the two sides, who had remained scoreless after 90 minutes, three minutes into extra-time, before the goal scorer was sent-off moments later in a dramatic series of events.

In a repeat of the 2016 final, the region’s traditional women’s football heavyweights met in an eagerly-anticipated decider, and it was the visitors who showed positive signs early, with Pham Hai Yen shooting narrowly wide within the opening two minutes.

Having racked up 54 goals between them on the way to the decider, this was a far more even contest, with the two sides trading chances in the final moments of the first half without reward.

Thailand’s Wilaiporn Boothduang – one of the stars of the competition with four goals – forced Vietnamese goalkeeper Tian Kim Thi Thanh into an important save from a 73rd-minute free-kick, but the second period lacked the goalmouth action of the first and the match remained scoreless through 90 minutes.

The breakthrough came quickly in the extra period, with Nhu calmly steering a trademark close-range finish low into the net for her seventh goal of the tournament after some fine wing play from Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy.

The drama didn’t end there. Nhu, who had already been booked, removed her playing shirt in celebration, leading to a sequence where the Vietnamese captain was sent off while sitting on the bench having attempted to complete a substitution immediately after the goal was scored.

Despite having to see out nearly half an hour at a numerical disadvantage, Vietnam held firm to keep a fourth clean sheet in five matches and become regional champions for the third time.


3RD PLACE: MYANMAR 3-0 PHILIPPINES

Yee Yee Oo scored to confirm herself as the tournament’s top goal scorer as Myanmar shrugged off Sunday’s semi-final defeat to claim third-place with a 3-0 win against the Philippines.

Second best in their 3-1 defeat to Thailand 48 hours prior, Win Thu Moe’s side produced an impressive display to overcome a Malditas side who had shown their ability to challenge the best teams in the region in the past week.

Even on this occasion, the Philippines remained well in the contest for much of the game, with the teams deadlocked at 0-0 until Yee Oo continued a superb individual tournament with the breakthrough goal in the 63rd minute.

The 29-year-old finished off a sharp Myanmar move, finding the vacant right side of the net when goalkeeper Inna Palacios strayed off her line following an initial save to bring up her eighth goal in five matches.

Yee Oo’s goal opened the game up, and substitute Nu Nu effectively closed it out with two goals of her own in quick succession.

Her first, lifted over Palacios after some sloppy defending, came in the 65th minute, before she scrambled home her second to make it three goals in 10 minutes for Myanmar, who claimed their seventh top three finish in 11 AFF Women’s Championship campaigns.

For the Philippines, it was a difficult end to a largely positive week, as Let Dimzon’s side became the first from the nation to reach the regional semi-finals.

Photos: Football Association of Thailand

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