Hanoi (VNA) â Vietnam defeated their arch-rival Thailand 2-0 in the final Group A round match of the Southeast Asian Womenâs Football Championship on July 30 in Myanmar.
Since both teams had earlier qualified for the semi-finals, they played without their best athletes.
Vietnam saved six key players, while the Thais played without four regular players.
Vietnam and their rivals took on a cautious approach, particularly in the first half. The urgency seen in earlier matches was missing, as the teams took their time moving forward in their attacks.
The slower pace was understandable, considering that both teams had already qualified and were saving themselves for the crucial semis battle.
Both sides had a fair share of attempts in the first half. Huynh Nhu and Pham Hai Yen had whiffs at goal, but nothing really threatening.
Thai strikers Kanjana Sung-Ngoen and Rattikan Thongsombut had their chances, too, but failed to convert them.
The pace, however, picked up after the break, and this significantly improved the quality of the game. As the game progressed, Vietnam pushed forward and began to get some of their shots into the net.
Nguyen Thi Nguyet had at least two close calls. Her teamâs persistence finally paid off in the 85th minute as Nhu pulled right and slammed Vietnam ahead.
In the final seconds, Nguyet managed to sneak in a second goal.
In the earlier match, the Philippines scored once in each half against Singapore, to wrest their first win here.
For the record, Vietnam, which scored 20 goals and conceded nothing, topped Group A with a maximum nine points in three matches.
Defending champions Thailand finished second with six points, while the Philippines and Singapore placed third and fourth, respectively.
Vietnam will play hosts Myanmar in the semi-finals while Thailand will face Australian U20 squad.
Players have the day off before returning to action on August 2.-VNA