Five Things to Know: Vietnam

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The U.S. Women’s National Team will open its journey at the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup against Vietnam, squaring off in Group E play at Eden Park in Auckland/Tāmaki Makaurau, New Zealand on July 22 (1 p.m. NZT; July 21 at 9 p.m. ET on FOX, Telemundo, Universo and Peacock). The World Cup opener will be the first match ever between the two nations as well as the first ever World Cup game for Vietnam.

As both nations prepare to kick off the tournament Down Under, get ready for the USA’s opening opponent with Five Things to Know about Vietnam.


One of the first teams to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Vietnam is one of eight nations making its Women’s World Cup debut at Australia/New Zealand 2023, joined by fellow debutants Haiti, Morocco, Republic of Ireland, Panama, Philippines, Portugal and Zambia.

The 2023 Women’s World Cup is the first to feature 32 countries, up from 24 in both 2015 and 2019 and a testament to the continued growth of women’s soccer worldwide. From 1999 to 2011, the Women’s World Cup was contested with 16 teams while the 1991 and 1995 tournaments featured a 12-team field.

Vietnam is one of six teams from the Asian Confederation in this year’s field, joined by tournament co-hosts Australia, 2011 World Cup champions Japan, 1999 World Cup runners-up China PR, Korea Republic and fellow World Cup debutants Philippines.


On February 6, 2022, Vietnam qualified for its first ever World Cup at the senior level, men’s or women’s, by winning the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Playoff. The 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, which marked the 20th edition of the quadrennial tournament, was contested in India in early 2022 and served as the final stage of Asia’s qualification for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, qualifying five teams directly for the final tournament and sending two more to the Inter-Confederation Playoff.

Vietnam advanced out of Group C to the knockout rounds of the Asian Cup as one of the best third place teams, but lost to China PR 3-1 in the quarterfinal round. From there, Vietnam went to a playoff where it defeated Thailand (2-0) and Chinese Taipei (2-1) to clinch the final direct World Cup berth out of Asia.


Seventy-two-year-old head coach Mai Duc Chung, a long-time coach for the Vietnam National Teams, coaching men, women and youth at different stages in his career, has named a roster comprised almost entirely of players who compete in the Vietnamese pro league. Twenty-two of the 23 players on this roster play their club soccer in Vietnam, with the lone exception being forward Huynh Nhu. The 31-year-old made history in 2022 when she signed with Länk Vilaverdense in the Portugese top-flight, becoming the first Vietnamese woman to sign with a European club.

Nhu is the team’s all-time leading scorer with 71 career international goals and will help spearhead the Vietnam attack.


Goalkeepers (3): 1-Dao Thi Kieu Oanh (Hanoi WFC), 14-Tran Thi Kim Thanh (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 20-Khong Thi Hang (Than Khoang San FC)

Defenders (8): 2-Luong Thi Thu Thuong (Than Khoang San FC), 3-Chuong Thi Kieu (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 4-Tran Thi Thu (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 5-Hoang Thi Loan (Hanoi WFC), 6-Tran Thi Thuy Nga (Thai Nguyen T&T WFC), 13-Le Thi Diem My (Than Khoang San FC), 17-Tran Thi Thu Thao (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 22-Nguyen Thi My Anh (Thai Nguyen T&T WFC)

Midfielders (8): 7-Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung (Phong Phu Ha Nam FC), 8-Tran Thi Thuy Trang (Ho Chi Minh City WFC), 10-Tran Thi Hai Linh (Hanoi WFC), 11-Thai Thi Thao (Hanoi WFC), 16-Duong Thi Van (Than Khoang San FC), 19-Nguyen Thi Thanh Nha (Hanoi WFC), 21-Ngan Thi Van Su (Hanoi WFC), 23-Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy (Ho Chi Minh City WFC)

Forwards (4): 9-Huynh Nhu (Länk Vilaverdense, POR), 12-Pham Hai Yen (Hanoi WFC), 15-Nguyen Thi Thuy Hang (Than Khoang San FC), 18-Vu Thi Hoa (Hanoi WFC)


The group stage opener in Auckland will be the first meeting all-time between the USA and Vietnam, making Vietnam the 57th different opponent the USWNT has faced all-time.

Although the group stage opener will be the first meeting ever between the USA and Vietnam, it will mark the fifth consecutive World Cup in which the USWNT has faced an opponent from Asia in its opening game of the tournament. The USA opened the World Cup against Korea DPR in both 2007 (2-2 draw) and 2011 (2-0 USA win), faced off against Australia in the first group match in 2015 World Cup (3-1 USA win) and then opened the 2019 World Cup group against Thailand in France (13-0 USA win).

The USWNT is unbeaten in 15 consecutive matches against AFC teams at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and in its last 22 matches overall against AFC foes.


Following the match at Eden Park against the USA, Vietnam will travel to Hamilton/Kirikiriroa where it will face Portugal in the second game of group play on July 27 at Waikato Stadium (7:30 p.m. local; 3:30 a.m. ET).

Vietnam wraps up Group E on August 1 against the Netherlands. That match will be played in Dunedin/Otepoti on New Zealand’s South Island, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. local/3 a.m. ET at Dunedin Stadium.