Vietnam lost 1-6 to Japan in a women’s football Asia region Olympic qualifying match in Osaka on Monday. The result was of little significance since both teams were already out of the running for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
Mana Iwabuchi, Shinobu Ono, Nahomi Kawasaumi, Emi Nakajima, Yuki Ogimi and Kumi Yokoyama all found the net for the hosts, while Huynh Nhu struck Vietnam’s first goal of the competition from a penalty.
Iwabuchi gave Japan the lead in the 39th minute, and though Nhu equalized three minutes later, Ono was on hand to restore Japan’s advantage in the last minute of the first half before her teammates scored four times in the final 10 minutes.
“Vietnam really persevered defensively. But we kept our focus right until the last minute, and as they changed players and lost a bit of concentration, we were able to add to the score,” Japanese coach Norio Sasaki said.
“We knew we couldn’t go to Rio, but looking further ahead we were aware that this will contribute towards the next World Cup and the Olympics in Tokyo. We can’t go to Rio but for the next three, four years we have to prepare well. Asian and world women’s football is really changing.”
Vietnam coach Mai Duc Chung said his players fought well and tried as hard as they could, but ran out of steam in the final few minutes.
“In the last 10 minutes we conceded four goals, which is why there was such a big score.
“On behalf of our national team I’d like to thank the fans from Vietnam and from Japan. Many of them came to the stadium so I would like to thank them very much.
In another match, China beat South Korea 1-0 to be in second place with 10 points behind Australia who have 12 points. Both Australia and China have secured early tickets to the Olympics.
In their last match Vietnam will play against South Korea on March 9.