YANGON (20 Sept 2013) – Japan Selection staged a late revival to dump defending champions Vietnam 2-1 in extra-time in the second semi-finals of the AFF Aya Bank Women’s Championship this evening at the Youth Training Centre.
The tournament favourites again showed their quality with two exquisite goals to set up a final encounter against the Australian Under-19 team in two days.
Playing under unfavourable conditions with the rain pouring down throughout the tie, the quality of the game was somewhat affected even though both teams tried their best to put up a good show.
But considering what is at stake, there were some sense of trepidation as Japan pushed without numbers while for Vietnam, they were relying more on counter-attacks.
And it was against such a background in the 35th minute, that Vietnam grabbed the lead in the game when against the run of play, Minh Nguyet scored following a Japanese defensive lapse.
With the score to the advantage of Vietnam for much of the game, the Japanese then brought in the speedy Hashiura Satsuki in the second half and that put the Vietnamese backline under tremendous pressure.
And with just a minute left of the tie and with Vietnam already sniffing a place in the final is theirs for the taking, came the rifling shot from defender Sunaga Manami from some 30metres out which totally caught out Vietnam keeper Dang Thi Kieu Trinh.
Into extra-time, and with brimming confidence from the Japanese girls, Miyuki Takahashi blasted in the winner just six minutes in, after picking up a loose corner.
Vietnam then felt their place in the final slipping away and by the time they pushed hard for the equalising goal, it was just a little too much, a little too late.
RESULTS – SEMI-FINALS
Australia 2 Myanmar 1
Japan 2 Vietnam 1 (After extra-time)