Junior Matildas defeat Vietnam 2-1 in AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup 2024 Round 2 Qualifiers

The Junior Matildas have qualified for the AFC U-17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024™ after defeating Vietnam 2-1 in Hanoi.

Australia started the game with the majority of possession and chances. However, it was Vietnam who scored first. After receiving the ball in transition, Vietnam’s No9 Thanh Hieu rounded Junior Matildas goalkeeper Layla Adams and gave her side the lead midway through the first half.

The youngsters continued to create chances and they soon paid off. Grace Kuilamu won a corner after a precise ball over the top from Indiana Dos Santos. The side had looked threatening all game from the set pieces of Kiera Meyers and this was no exception, her corner perfectly finding the head of Sienna Dale who equalised.

Dale doubled her tally minutes later. After superb work from Kuilamu in shrugging off her defender and finding some space, she fired a cross to the back post from the by-line. The Manly United junior was there again, and – from some way out – was able to rifle her header home to make it 2-1 at half time.

Coach Rae Dower changed it up at half-time, subbing on Lillian Skelly and Madeline Caspers. Skelly in particular was immediately lively on the left-hand side.

The game continued in a similar pattern in the second half. Australia were the team with the majority of the ball, usually in Vietnam’s half, but the well-organised and resolute defence of their opponents proved difficult to break down.

Shelby McMahon and Chloe Parker entered in the 78th minute. Parker was unlucky not to win a penalty soon after coming on, showing off her skills with a dazzling run into the box.

Vietnam continued to threaten in transition but ultimately, Australia were too strong, and came away with the three points.

The Junior Matildas will now play Bangladesh on Sunday, 4pm local time (7pm AEST). A point will be enough to finish top of the group and put a final flourish on a successful qualifying campaign.