VN team qualifies for finals

The Vietnamese women’s football team qualified for the final round of the 2010 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup after thrashing Hong Kong 7-0 in the final group game yesterday.

Viet Nam, who o­nly ceded o­ne goal in Group C’s two qualifying matches, nailed six points to top the group and make its sixth consecutive appearance at the continent’s most prestigious women’s football tournament.

Viet Nam and two group winners from groups A and B will join five direct entrants – North Korea, China, Japan, Australia and South Korea – at the tournament.

After demolishing Kyrgyzstan 10-1 in the opener last Saturday, Viet Nam continued its superiority by demolishing Hong Kong 7-0 yesterday at HCM City’s Thanh Long Sport Centre.

Viet Nam dominated the match from beginning to end. o­nly eight minutes into the match, midfielder Van Thi Thanh opened the score, paving the way for Do Thi Ngoc Cham to double it two minutes later.

Thanh scored her second goal in the 22nd minute, and Cham did the same to put the host 4-0 at half time.

Three-time golden ball winner Dao Kim Chi stretched the lead to 5-0 with a free kick just outside the box 11 minutes after the restart.

Cham completed her hat trick in the 70th minute, increasing her total goals in o­nly two matches to nine.

Nguyen Thi Muon, who came o­n in place of Nguyen Mai Lan in the 58th minute, completed the victory with a pop right in the box.

Tran Van Phat, the Chinese head coach of Viet Nam, said that he was very pleased with the players’ performances.

"I knew we’d win the match, but the players did better than I expected. They did exactly what I told them to do before the match: play well and win convincingly."

Phat also complimented the Hong Kong team, which lost 1-3 to Viet Nam in 2005, for playing hard despite being a young team and without the services of some important players.

"Viet Nam were very strong and made no mistakes. We played to the best of our ability, but they were o­n a higher level than us," Ho Wing Kam, head coach of Hong Kong, said after the match.

"We have yet to be o­ne of the last four teams standing at this event in the past. That is our goal for the 2010 championship," Phat said.

"To achieve that goal, we will have to improve our players’ abilities."

Phat also spoke highly of 20-year-old players Nguyen Thi Muon and Nguyen Hai Hoa, who he said played very well in the two qualifying matches.