AFC U-20 Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers: India lock horns with Vietnam in must-win game

Viet Tri City (Vietnam), March 10 (IANS) In a virtual final for a ticket to the next round, the Indian Women’s U-20 team will take on Vietnam in their last match of Group F of the 2024 AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Round 1 at the Viet Tri Stadium in Viet Tri City, Vietnam on Saturday.

Both India and Vietnam have six points with two wins from their first two games against Indonesia and Singapore. The hosts are top of the table due to a superior goal difference of +14 (3-0 vs Indonesia and 11-0 vs Singapore).

India have a goal difference of +13 (7-0 vs Singapore and 6-0 vs Indonesia). It gives Vietnam an advantage, as a draw on Saturday will be enough for them to qualify as group winners, while only a win will do for India.

“We were confident of a win going into this match, and the team delivered very well,” said midfielder Kajol Dsouza after the victory over Indonesia on Thursday, in which India scored three goals in each half. Six different scorers have found the net in the qualifiers so far, which would please head coach Maymol Rocky.

However, the margin of the Indian victories could’ve been higher if the finishing was better, but Rocky is only aiming for a win in the all-important clash against Vietnam, who flexed their muscles in the 11-0 thrashing of Singapore on Thursday.

“It’s not going to be easy against Vietnam. We have seen their matches. They have 12 players on the field because of the crowd,” said Rocky.

The Indian coach knows it will be an uphill task against the hosts, who are targeting their third successive qualification for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup. “We have been preparing for this big match since we were in our camp back home in India. Tomorrow will be like a final for both sides,” she said.

The group winner will make it to Round 2 of the qualifiers, which will take place in June to decide the final list of eight teams for the AFC U-20 Women’s Asian Cup to be held in Uzbekistan next year.

–IANS

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