Friday, February 23, 2007

Vietnam hammer Maldives in Beijing Olympics qualifier

VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnam beat the Maldives 5-0 in their second match of the 2008 Beijing Olympics' first qualifiers on Wednesday, keeping their hopes alive of going through to the next round.

Despite coach Tran Ngoc Thai Tuan's decision not to field his strongest team, which lost 1-0 to Thailand in their opener on Monday, against unfancied opponents," halfback Van Thi Thanh, the national Golden Ball winner in 2005, scored just 16 minutes into the game from the penalty spot following an accidental handball by a Maldives' defender.

Three minutes later, striker Tuyet Mai tapped in a corner kick to score Vietnam's second. Mai also scored Vietnam's third goal after 14 minutes following a break into the penalty box by Dao Thi Mien, recently named the nation's "Most Valuable Player," who then nudged the ball to Mai who had no trouble finding the lower corner of the net.

The Maldives' coach changed his tactics in the second half, asking his players to play defensively and the Maldives' girls tried to cut their losses by slowing down the game and kicking the ball out of play.

However, their stalling tactics made little difference and the Vietnamese side scored a fourth goal 10 minutes into the second half. Defender Minh Nguyet dribbled the ball from the Vietnamese half into the Maldives' box before firing the ball into the back of the net beyond the reach of the diving goalkeeper.

Vietnam's fifth and final goal came from the boot of Tuyet Mai who took advantage of defensive chaos in the Maldives' penalty area to score her third goal. [Read More]

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