Written by Olaleye Oluwadamilola
Vietnam has not been enjoying their WWC debut beginning with an opening fixture against the US, which ended in a 3-0 loss, it was then followed up by a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Portugal subsequently ending any chance of progression from the group stages. With nothing to lose, the Southeast Asian team will be hoping to exit on a positive note, and in the process scoring their first-ever tournament goal.
With the group stages of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup drawing to a close, both Vietnam and the Netherlands have the pleasure of heading into the final round in Group E with perfect clarity on what they can achieve.
The defeat left the Diamond Girls rooted to the bottom of Group D on zero points, while the Netherlands are second on four points. For Vietnam, their flights home are already booked after two losses without a goal, while for the Netherlands the clearest path to punching their tickets to the knockout rounds is simply to avoid defeat here.
With their first appearance at the Women’s World Cup set to come to an end on Tuesday, Vietnam will be looking to produce a competitive performance against the 2019 runners-up having lost their last five internationals by a combined 18-1 score-line, Mai Duc Chung’s side have their work cut out to trouble the Dutch.
Vietnam are winless in two WWC games and have conceded exactly two first-half goals in each of their last four games. Thy lost their last five internationals by a combined 18-1 score-line and four of Vietnam’s last six games have produced three goals or more.
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Vietnam, for their part, have had an eventful debut. Despite losing their two games so far without scoring, the margins of victory were not as wide as expected, with goalkeeper Kim Thanh Tran Thi having made her presence felt between the sticks, some sort of positivity for the team. Nguyễn Thị Thanh Nhã may be the one to offer her country a reprieve, having scored two of their last four goals as they country push for the last time, a goal of their own in the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Last time out the Netherlands earned a hard-fought point against world champions United States with influential midfielder Jill Roord opening the scoring. They were unable to see out a huge win as USWNT skipper Lindsey Horan equalised deep into the second half.
That being said, the result did bring to an end a run of six successive US wins against European opposition at the Women’s World Cup, and the result means Andries Jonker’s side knows a win here seals passage into the knockout phase.
The Netherlands need just a point to guarantee qualification. However, their coach has already stated that they have their sights set on the top spot to ostensibly avoid a clash with Sweden in the next round.
The Dutch side who are currently sitting in second place in Group E with USA sitting in top spot on goal difference only need to avoid defeat to secure their place in the last 16, a win or a draw will do.
If they can avoid defeat against already-eliminated Vietnam, then the United States would be out if they lose to Portugal who are ranked 21st in the world.
The Netherlands who are aiming to qualify for the knockout rounds for a third consecutive tournament have opened the scoring before the 20th minute in each of their last three games.
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Netherlands will be hoping their lucky charm Jill Roord can strike again, after her goal against the USA made it 16 international goalscoring outings without defeat (W14, D2).
The Netherlands have won seven of their nine games since the start of the 2019 tournament.
This will be a first-ever meeting. Vietnam’s record against UEFA sides reads 0 wins, 0 draws and three losses. The Netherlands’ record against AFC sides reads 12 wins, 10 draws and 14 losses.
With The Netherlands needing just a point to guarantee round 16 qualification, they are the overwhelming favorites to claim three points but this tournament has produced several shocks. However, Andries Jonker’s side should be able to claim a comfortable win in addition to a clean sheet.
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