Vietnam will play Thailand for the AFF Women’s Championship title after defeating host Myanmar on penalties in a semifinal Tuesday.
Thousands of local fans at the Mandalarthiri Stadium were sure of a win for the home team when Korean referee Oh Hyeon-jeong awarded Myanmar a penalty in the 90th minute for Bui Thi Nhu’s handball.
Win Theingi Tun scored her second goal of the match and Myanmar went 3-2 ahead.
But in injury time Huynh Nhu was brought down in the box and Minh Nguyet leveled the scores off the resultant penalty.
“My heart is still beating violently; we were almost done for before being revived,” Vietnamese goalkeeper Kieu Trinh told Thanh Nien on the phone shortly after the match.
“I have been playing football for years but this kind of happiness could kill me,” Trinh, who has been playing for the national team for 12 years, said.
In the penalty shootout, she successfully blocked a shot by Myanmar captain Sunisa Srangthasong. Everyone else from both teams converted.
“She [Srangthasong] stared at me. I also stared at her. We have faced each other several times before,” Trinh said about the penalty.
“In 2012 I blocked her penalty and Myanmar lost to Vietnam… I thought she would finish in a different corner this time and my prediction was right.”
Earlier Myanmar had fought valiantly to level the scores after being 2-0 down until the 60th minute.
Nhu and Tuyet Dung had scored for Vietnam in the 15th and 16th minutes. Theingi Tun reduced the lead in the 60th minute and May Thu Kyaw leveled 16 minutes later.
In the final Thursday (August 3) Vietnam play Thailand, who beat Australia 2-0 in the other semifinal.