Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy (center) celebrates her purpose along with her teammates within the match between Việt Nam and Chinese language Taipei on Sunday. AFP/VNA Photograph
I’ve by no means actually been one for position fashions or idols.
Name me a cynic, however I’ve at all times discovered it laborious to droop disbelief in terms of my favorite athletes; even Thierry Henry has flaws.
Nonetheless if the Việt Nam males’s nationwide staff are searching for some mentors to information them on their quest for eventual World Cup qualification, they need to look no additional than their feminine counterparts.
On Sunday in India, Việt Nam certified for the 2023 Ladies’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand because of a 2-1 win over Chinese language Taipei.
It was a match excessive on drama, as Việt Nam took an early lead earlier than being pegged again to 1-1 simply 5 minutes into the second half.
At this level it could have been straightforward for coach Mai Đức Chung’s facet to throw within the towel. In spite of everything, it was their fifth match of the match within the stifling warmth, a number of gamers had contracted COVID-19 in current weeks they usually had all been away from their properties and households over the Tết vacation.
Nonetheless these gamers are product of stern stuff and simply six minutes after conceding, Nguyễn Thị Bích Thùy fired them again into the lead.
Whereas there have been a number of furry moments in the remainder of the sport, the ladies in pink have been capable of see out the match professionally and e-book their place on the world’s premier soccer match for the primary time in historical past.
A direct comparability to the male staff might be unfair in quite a few methods, however there are nonetheless classes to be discovered for these within the males’s sport.
For a begin, it’s clear that competing at a excessive degree for years has paid dividends for the ladies’s staff.
They’ve competed at each AFC Ladies’s Asian Cup (the premier continental competitors) since 1999, giving them the prospect to check themselves towards Asia’s greatest.
In distinction, the boys have solely been to 2 AFC Asian Cups in that point interval.
Whereas qualifying for the boys’s version is a more durable process, it’s clear that the main target for the boys ought to be qualifying for this match and successful the prospect to play the likes of South Korea and Iran, moderately than constructing a staff round successful the SEA Video games.
The opposite factor the ladies did that the boys ought to emulate is benefit from the chance introduced by match growth.
The 2023 Ladies’s World Cup will embrace 32 groups as an alternative of the 24 in earlier years, whereas the boys’s version in 2026 will see 48 groups compete as an alternative of the earlier 32.
There’s no denying this made qualifying for the showpiece occasion barely simpler for the ladies’s staff, however they nonetheless needed to seize their alternative.
When the boys have the same alternative within the subsequent World Cup qualifying cycle, they need to be given each attainable benefit to make it rely. For instance, the ladies had a coaching camp in Spain forward of the Indian match, an expense the VFF could have needed to avoid wasting in earlier years.
The Vietnamese ladies’s staff have proven it may be achieved and the way it may be achieved, now it’s time for the boys to comply with their instance. VNS