China PR stayed on course for a record-extending ninth title after booking their place in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 semi-finals with a 3-1 victory over Vietnam at the DY Patil Stadium on Sunday.
Wang Shuang, Wang Shanshan and Tang Jiali all starred for Shui Qingxia’s side as they set up a semi-final clash with defending champions Japan and also confirmed their place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand 2023.
Vietnam, meanwhile, will now set their sights on qualifying for the FIFA Women’s World Cup via the playoffs.
China PR came into the tie having won all their group games without conceding a goal, while Vietnam were vying to chart history by progressing into the semi-finals and sealing FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia/New Zealand qualification.
Mai Duc Chung rested forward Huynh Nhu in favour of a Pham Hai Yen-Nguyen Thi Van partnership upfront but Vietnam found themselves under pressure in the opening exchanges.
China PR attacked in numbers with Wang Shuang having a goal disallowed for offside in the seventh minute while Tang Jiali’s header sailed over the bar two minutes later.
Despite their lack of possession, Vietnam crafted the first goal in the 11th minute with Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung intercepting a poor clearance China’s Yang Lina from near the box before striking the ball past goalkeeper Yu Zhu into the bottom left corner.
A visibly stunned China quickly regrouped but struggled to find the back of the net with Wang Shuang, Jiali and Wang Xiaoxue all missing their efforts from outside the six-yard box.
However, the eight-time champions were back on level terms in the 25th minute, with Wang Shuang scoring off a rebound after Wang Shanshan forced a fine save from Vietnam custodian Tran Thi Kim Thanh.
China were a different side in the second half with Wang Shanshan giving them the lead in the 52nd minute when the captain finished off Wang Shuang’s cross by drilling her effort from inside the box.
Tang then caught the Vietnam defence napping a minute later when she found space inside the danger area before unleashing a low drive to etch her name on the scoresheet.
Vietnam were awarded a penalty in the 88th minute following Li Mengwen’s handball, but Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy smashed her penalty against the bar as China held firm to keep their title dreams alive.