August 4, 2023
HÀ NỘI — The national women’s football team were welcomed home as heroes after finishing their FIFA World Cup campaign.
The team played against world powerhouses the US, the Netherlands and Portugal but could not earn a single point and, placed in the bottom of Group E, returned home empty-handed.
However, presenting and playing in the World Cup was considered the team’s best achievement as they set a national historic milestone.
Players, coaches and staff are divided into two groups to fly home. One lands in HCM City and the other lands in Hà Nội on August 3 at noon.
“Overseas Vietnamese supporters held a farewell ceremony for us yesterday. It moved us deeply. Today, we are surprised to see many local supporters come to welcome us home. Thank you! Thank you!” said coach Mai Đức Chung.
“In this World Cup, we played our best but we could not compare to the top world teams, so we could not make our supporters happy yet.
“But we have had a great experience. We sang the national anthem on the away ground where we were watched by millions of supporters around the world. We played elite football level and we learnt a lot from the other teams.
“From the World Cup, we know who we are and need to improve a lot to catch up with world football. Việt Nam is a leading team in the region but in greater Asia and the world, there are big gaps with other teams. More effort is needed to grow up.”
Chung, the oldest coach of the women’s World Cup in history, said his team will have one week’s rest before practising again to prepare for upcoming events.
“We promise to practise harder and play better for the ASIAD and the Olympic qualifiers.”
His midfielder Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy also shared her opinion about Việt Nam and her World Cup debut.
“We have learnt a lot from this tournament. We are more confident and understand our abilities and qualities better,” she said.
“This is a memorable tournament that will be in my mind forever. It will be a strong motivation for me to strive harder in my career. For the upcoming tournaments, I have to improve both technique and fitness.”
Việt Nam Football Federation President Trần Quốc Tuấn said earning a World Cup berth was the nation’s pride and challenge. Việt Nam still has much to do after what the team did in New Zealand.
“We prepared well for the tournament but honestly our efforts could not cover our weaknesses of small form and fitness,” said Tuấn.
“However, we have learnt a lot and gained lessons from this tournament. It is good that the players’ spirits and confidence are strengthened remarkably.”
Việt Nam will play two important events in the next months.
At the Asian Games, Việt Nam is up against Japan, Bangladesh and Nepal in the group phase. Matches will be from September 19-24 in Hangzhou, China.
At the Olympics’ second qualification, Việt Nam face Japan, Uzbekistan and India from October 23 to November 11 in Uzbekistan. VNS