Australia have the chance to exact revenge for their Group A loss to Thailand in the AFF Women’s Championship, after beating Vietnam 4-2 in the semi-final.
An Alex Chidiac brace, as well as goals to Kyra Cooney-Cross and Courtney Nevin, cancelled out Vietnam’s opener to give the Young Matildas a deserved result.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Dong drew first blood as she received a pass on the edge of the 18-yard box, and took her second touch past an outstretched Taylor Ray. Her third touch was clinical, firing past Jada Whyman’s clutches.
While Chidiac would equalise 63 seconds later, praise must go to Emily Condon who drew in two defenders as she drove towards the middle. Her perfectly-weighted pass set up Chidiac, who held her nerve to chip over Vietnam’s keeper.
Australia’s swift response typified the rest of the half, as the Young Matildas maintained possession in Vietnam’s half, and endeavoured to break down a deep-lying defence.
On 35 minutes, Vietnam would rue their conservative approach. Nevin, who was in yards of space, received the ball inside Vietnam’s half. She let fly from 30 metres out as the ball nestled in the top right corner.
The game followed a similar pattern in the second half until Australia doubled their lead. Cooney-Cross latched onto a Cortnee Vine throw-in and, on her second touch, lifted the ball from an impossible angle over the stunned keeper.
Cooney-Cross’ goal galvanised Vietnam, as Australia’s Asian Cup opponents pushed their players higher up the field and pressed Australia’s centre-halves.
Yet, Vietnam fell on their sword, as their pursuit of a goal left them exposed at the back. Larissa Crummer drilled a pass to Chidiac’s feet on the back of a Vietnam turnover, before a one-two with Rachel Lowe sent Chidiac in for her second.
Vietnam grabbed a consolation goal via a Dong penalty. Emily Hodgson brought Hoang Loan down in the box, and Dong grabbed her brace.
Australia will now face Thailand on Friday 13 July in a rematch of their Group A clash, after the Chaba Kaew beat Myanmar 3-1 in the other semifinal.