Vietnam's women's football team will have to prepare themselves for the play-off match in order to win the continent's fifth ticket to the Women's World Cup next year after a 2-0 loss to Australia in the last match of Group A at Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City.

An own goal off a shot inside the box from Emily Van Egmond and Kathryna Gorry's goal in the second half gave the defending champions a hard-fought 2-0 win over the home team.

The loss left Vietnam out of the last four after the team only managed to gain three points. The country beat Jordan 3-1 in the opening match but lost 4-0 and 2-0 to Japan and Australia.

The victory helped Australia claim second place in the group with seven points after three matches. They drew 2-2 with Japan in the opener, and beat Jordan 3-1 and Vietnam 2-0 in the two next matches. Australia will take on the winners of Group B which will be decided today after the match between the Republic of Korea (RoK) and China.

The win not only keeps Australia on course to defending their title, but also gives them a place in the World Cup next year in Canada.

"As I expected, it was a difficult game for us because the opponent's organisation in defence and their determination to defend was very good today. I also wish them luck in the play-off match," Australia's coach, Alen Stajcic, said in the post-match press conference.

Vietnam's Chinese coach, Chen Yun Fa, said: "Our opponents today are the defending champions and a very strong team, but our players stuck to the game plan, defending well and waiting to pounce on the counter-attack," he said.

"Our players lost the match today but I am happy with their spirit. I also congratulate Australia for qualifying for the World Cup," he added.

In the other match in the group, Japan, who also beat Vietnam 4-0 two days ago, thrashed Jordan 7-0, to take the group with seven points and a better goal difference than Australia. Japan will play the runners-up of the Group B.

On May 17, RoK and China also qualified for the semi-final stage, meaning they also go to Canada, after beating Thailand 4-0 and Myanmar 3-0.-VNA