Japan outclass Vietnam in U20 Women's Asian Cup opener hinh anh 1The Vietnamese players tried their best, but Japan were just too strong. (Photo: VFF)
Hanoi (VNS/VNA) – Vietnam’s national U20 women's football team was handed a 10-0 drubbing the leading female football powerhouse Japan in their first match of Group B in the 2020 AFC U20 Women's Asian Cup in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on March 4.

A first half hat-trick from Manaka Matsukubo sealed the predictable victory for the six-time champions, before six other players score seven goals in the second half to cap off an emphatic opener for the Young Nadeshiko.

As Vietnam are placed in what many would name "Group of Death", with continental giants Japan, China and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Head Coach Akira Ijiri opted for a defensive formation to minimise the number of goals conceded.

However, it did not take long for Japan to find and take advantage of gaps made in the Vietnamese defence. In the 11th minute, Matsukubo opened the score with a vicious curled shot.

The midfielder, who is playing in the US's NWSL for the North Carolina Courage, is regarded as one of Japan's promising talent, and she proved her worth even more by scoring two more goals in the 31st and 44th minute.

Vietnam did have a goal opportunity near the end of the first half, when Bui Thi Thuong was through on goal, but her lobbed shot was way over the bar.

In the second half, Vietnam's defence stayed strong up until the 56th minute when Hijikata scored Japan's fourth. As the stamina declined, six more goals were scored by Japan in the remainder of the match, with Hijikata completing her brace in the 64th minute, and Tsujisawa, Sasaki, Sasai, Yoneda and Shirasawa each finding the back of the net.

This result marked the biggest loss ever for the Vietnam national under-20 women's football team, a sad record for Ijiri and his players. However, there is still a slim chance for qualification for the U20 Women's World Cup, should Vietnam grab at least four points in their remaining two matches against China and the DPRK, opponents who are as almost equal to Japan in the regional scene./.