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Vietnam women's football team hold a great chance to qualify for World Cup

February 04, 2021 | 14:38

The schedule for Women's Asian Cup, where Vietnam faces a great opportunity to obtain World Cup qualification, has been announced by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).

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The 2022 edition serve as the qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

According to Olympic Channel, India will host the 20th edition of the AFC Women's Asian Cup, the quadrennial international football tournament in Asia. India is set to host the top women's national teams in Asia as they compete for the premier continental title - the AFC Women's Asia Cup - next year.

The 2022 edition of the quadrennial event will also serve as the qualifiers for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

The best four teams from the 2022 Women's Asian Cup, along with Australia, will take part in the 2023 Women's World Cup. Japan are the defending champions.

The event will start on January 20, 2022, and will finish on February 6, 2022. India will host the tournament. Ahmedabad and Navi Mumbai are the two possible venues that are likely to host the marquee event.

India was one of the three countries which had expressed interest in hosting the AFC Women’s Asian Cup alongside Chinese Taipei and Uzbekistan. It will be its second time that India will be hosting the premier tournament after 1980 in Kozhikode.

Vietnam women's football team hold a great chance to qualify for world cup
AFC Women's Asian Cup trophy. Photo: Olympic Channel.

The tournament has also been expanded to feature 12 of the best teams on the continent. It must be noted that the previous edition of the Women's Asian Cup, which was held in Jordan, had featured only eight teams.

India qualified for the tournament by virtue of being the host. Japan, Australia and China, the best three teams from the 2018 edition, have also secured their berth. The qualifiers to determine the remaining eight spots will be held at a centralised venue from September 13 to 25, 2021.

A great chance for Vietnam women's football team to qualify for World Cup

The Vietnam women's football team have a great chance to qualify for World Cup, with a record five slots reserved for Asian teams in the tournament (apart from hosts Australia), as it has extended the number of participating team from 24 to 32 for the 2023 edition, Vn Express reported.

In addition, life will be easier for Vietnam in the Women’s Asian Cup. Australia will not take part in the event because they already qualified for World Cup as hosts. North Korea will also be absent because they are under punishment for quitting an Olympic Tokyo qualification game last year against South Korea.

In these five qualification slots, three are expected to be claimed by giants like Japan, China and South Korea. The remaining two slots could be Thailand and Vietnam, as the other teams in Asian Cup this year are weaker opponents like the Philippines, Myanmar, Hong Kong, Taiwan.

Vietnam women's football team hold a great chance to qualify for world cup
Vietnam women's football team celebrate the gold medal win in SEA Games 30 on December 8, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.

Women’s Asian Cup 2022 will feature 12 teams, an extension from eight in the previous tournament. They will be divided into three groups of four, with a minimum 25 matches played over 18 days. The top teams of each group will qualify for World Cup while the runners-up will battle for two remaining tickets in the play-offs.

Vietnam women's football team ranks first in Southeast Asia and in Asia top five in 2020

Despite playing no games in 2020, the women's football team of Vietnam still ascended the FIFA Women’s ranking since North Korea would not compete in any international football tournament under FIFA management for the next two years, seeing them exit the ranking. This caused many teams in the top 50 to move up a spot, VOV News reported.

With North Korea’s departure from the ranking, Vietnam moved to 35th in the world and entered the top five teams in Asia with 1,657 points. At the top of Asia is Australia with 1,963 points, followed by Japan (1,937), China (1,867) and South Korea (1,818).

Vietnam women's football team hold a great chance to qualify for world cup
Vietnam women’s football team celebrate their gold medal victory at SEA Games 30 on December 8, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Lam Thoa.

In Southeast Asia, Vietnam are number one, with 61 more points than arch-rivals Thailand in second. The remaining teams in the top five are Myanmar, the Philippines, and Malaysia. The top five teams in the world are the US, followed by Germany, France, the Netherlands and Australia, Tien Phong News reported.

Since Vietnam did not play a single game in 2020, they would face many challenges in preparing for Women’s AFF Cup and SEA Games 31 next year.

Vietnam women's football team hold a great chance to qualify for world cup
Captain Huynh Nhu celebrates after scoring against Australia at a 2020 Olympic Tokyo qualification match, on March 11, 2020. It was Vietnamese women's first goal against Australian. Photo courtesy of the Asian Football Confederation.

Vietnam Football Federation aims to see the team qualify for Women’s World Cup 2023 hosted in New Zealand and Australia. With FIFA increasing the number of teams in the tournament from 24 to 32, opportunities have opened for many teams, including Vietnam. In 2019, Vietnam were only one game away from World Cup but lost to Thailand in the final play-off.

Eight countries to directly qualify for 2023 World Cup will be decided after 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, with the country finishing ninth to enter the play-off against a team from another region, Vn Express reported.

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