The Iran women's national football team has gone down to a crushing defeat at the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women's Asian Cup qualification tournament, conceding the match to the host nation Vietnam.
On Sunday, the Iranian outfit began the Group D fixture at Vietnam Youth Football Training Centre in Hanoi in a distinctly dominant and organized manner, and prevented the Vietnamese squad from making any significant early inroads.
The Iranians held a firm composure, and midfielder Zahra Ghanbari’s sharp free-kick flew in from twenty-five yards to give Maryam Azmoun’s side a lead after just eight minutes.
Vietnam responded to the challenge with a spell of pressure, and winger Nugyen Thi Tuyet Dung managed to outpace the Iranian defense in the 15th minute and hammer the ball past Iranian goalkeeper Zomorod Soleimani from close range.
The mood of the match effectively changed after the goal. Pham Hai Yen powerfully headed home Tuyet Dung’s corner in the 25th minute, and duly doubled the Southeast Asians’ lead.
Having established themselves, the Vietnam soccer players continued to press after the break. Forward Huynh Nhu made it 3-1 in the 61st minute, before Nguyen Thi Hoa’s perfectly placed header extended the hosts’ lead to four.
Pham Hai Yen’s second headed goal of the match made it 5-1 in the 79th minute. Huynh Nhu’s volley three minutes later brought the scoring to 6-1.
Iran had been drawn with Myanmar, Singapore, Syria and Vietnam in Group D of the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup qualification tournament.
Group A consisted of Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, the Philippines, Tajikistan and the United Arab Emirates.
Hong Kong, India, North Korea, South Korea and Uzbekistan formed Group B.
Chinese Taipei, Guam, Lebanon, Palestine and Thailand were pitted against each other in Group C.