Vietnam suffers first loss in Women's Asian Cup finals


The Vietnamese women could not build on their previous 3-1 victory over Jordan in the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup knock-out stage as they lost 0-4 to defending world champions Japan in their second Group A tie on Friday, May 16.

The Vietnamese side played a solid defence throughout the whole match, which proved effective, with goalie Kieu Trinh's net kept empty in the first 40 minutes.

Japan proved themselves as world champions by ultimately finding ways past a resilient Vietnam rearguard in the last minutes of the first half.

Midfielder Kawasumi hammered a powerful shot from the edge of the area that flew past a motionless Kieu Trinh to open the scoring for Japan.

The first-half pattern of the game continued in the second period, with Vietnam defending deep in their own zone and Japan applying continuous pressure and making the most of their chances.

Shortly after the hour mark, Japan did find a second as Kiryu fired a close-range header into Vietnam's unguarded net.

Just five minutes later, Yuki Ogimi made it 3-0 for the reigning world champions, also from a header, and Kawasumi finished off the scoring on 86 minutes, curling in an undeniable effort into the top corner from just inside the penalty area.

With this win, Japan extended their unbeaten start to the campaign to two games, following their 2-2 draw against Australia two days before, and remain atop Group A with four points.

Australia defeated Jordan 3-1 on the same day to reach the same four-point tally, but they sit in second place due to the goal difference.

Vietnam are currently third in Group A with three points. The host team will play their last group match against Australia tomorrow at Thong Nhat Stadium.

National Excellence Shooter tournament opens

A field of 154 shooters is aiming for medals at the19th National Excellence Shooter Tournament which got underway with a bang at the National Sports Training Centre in Hanoi on May 17.

A total of 11 teams are participating in the competition including one from each Singapore, Of which, the five teams attracting the greatest number of athletes include Hanoi (30 athletes), Army (25 athletes), Hai Duong, (21 athletes), Ho Chi Minh City (15 athletes), and Singapore (15 athletes).

The athletes are competing in men and women’s events in the disciplines of rifles, pistols, and trap shooting.

The opening events saw  highly skilled competition in the three events of men’s 50m slow fire pistol, women’s 25m sport pistol, and women’s 10m air rifle.

The tournament is a great opportunity for the organising board to inspect and evaluate the training quality of coaches and athletes.

It also provides a venue for domestic athletes to share experiences with other foreign rivals, as well as selecting the best athletes for the national team in preparation for upcoming regional, continental, international competitions.

The tournament runs until May 23.

First national fishing contest begins

The first Game Fishing Association Championships is being held on May 17-18 at the Trang An Fishing Club in Hanoi.

More than 100 athletes from 20 teams have registered to take part in the singles and team events.

According to Nghiem Ba Vuong, the association's general secretary, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hai Phong and Thanh Hoa are sending the strongest contingents, among others.

He said the successful competitors will receive bonus points to upgrade their national ranking.

Fishing, as a sport, began in Vietnam in 1995 and grew popular mainly in the southern provinces, with HCM City's 9999 being the first club to be established in 2002.

Over the years, the sport has attracted many athletes. Its increasing popularity led to the establishment of the Vietnam Game Fishing Association last October.

Vuong said the tournament would be held as an annual event after making its debut this year, and hoped that in the future it would become popular among the people.