Taipei (CNA), Taiwan’s hopes of qualifying for FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 were shattered Sunday when the country’s women’s team lost to Vietnam in their final playoff series match.

Vietnam beat Taiwan 2-1 in final game of three-team round robin playoffs. This secured the fifth and last automatic World Cup qualification spot at the AFC 2022 Women’s Asian Cup. It was held in a COVID-19 bubble in India from January 20 through February 6.

Taiwan moves on to the inter-confederation playoff tournament of 10 teams, which will take place in February 2023. This tournament is for the final three spots at next World Cup. It will be co-hosted jointly by Australia and New Zealand between July 20 and Aug. 20, 2023.

Thailand was the other Asian Football Confederation country to be granted a berth in the tournament.

Taiwan’s coach Kazuo Echigo, however, expressed disappointment after the game but stated that he believed the team would still qualify for the World Cup.

Echigo stated that many of Taiwan’s most experienced players couldn’t play in the two previous games. However, this gave younger players an opportunity to learn.

“I hope fans will continue to support women’s national soccer teams as there is still a chance to play in the World Cup. We will work harder to prepare for it.” Echigo stated that they will make it to the World Cup.

After six of their players tested positive for COVID-19 in Taiwan, Taiwan was unable to compete. Vietnam, however, had 23 players.

At D.Y., Vietnam scored the first goal. In the seventh minute, Vietnam opened the scoring at D.Y. Stadium in Navi Mumbai with a header by defender Chuong Thi Kieu who rose to take a corner from Nguyen Thi T. Dung.

Due to Taiwan’s superior goal difference to Vietnam, the draw was drawn. Midfielder Wu Kai-ching (Wu Kai Qing ), passed to forward Su Yu Yu-hsuan [Su Yu Xuan ], who sent the ball into the bottom left corner of the 49th minute past Vietnam goalkeeper Tran Thi Kim Thanh.

With Vietnam still tied, Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, a midfielder, collected a cross from Thai Thi Thao, before scoring with a scorching goal that flew past Taiwan goalkeeper Tsai Mingjung (Cai Ming Rong ), in the 56th minute.

In the remaining match, Taiwan failed to score. Vietnam made its historic debut at the World Cup.

This was Taiwan’s second defeat in 32 years. It had lost to the Philippines in the quarterfinals in 2022 Women’s Asian Cup.

The only time Taiwan has been to the Women’s World Cup Finals was 1991 when it hosted its inaugural edition. Taiwan advanced to the quarterfinals.

Taiwan, a pioneer of women’s soccer in Asia, is the Asian champion in Asian soccer, having won it in 1977, 1979 and 1981.