FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023. Group E Thursday 27 July | Waikato Stadium, Hamilton/Kirikiriroa Portugal v Vietnam

The match

The stakes are high as Portugal and Vietnam meet for the first time ever, with both sides needing to win to keep their dreams alive of knocking out one of the two France 2019 finalists – USA and the Netherlands – and advancing to the round of 16.


Though the task is far from easy, they both showed in their opening games that it is not impossible. Portugal will feel they deserved a point against the Dutch for their second-half performance, while the Vietnamese gave the reigning world champions a stiffer test than many expected.

After coming away empty-handed from their maiden Women’s World Cup matches, both sides need to sharpen their finishing if they are to avoid tears at the final whistle.


Team news

Portugal are expected to name Kika Nazareth in place of Fatima Pinto in their starting line-up, with the latter sustaining an injury to her right knee.

Vietnam, by contrast, have no fresh injury concerns.


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Players to watch

Kika Nazareth Still only 20, Kika is the “golden girl” of Portuguese football. Though the attacking midfielder is happy to accept the tag, she prefers to do her talking on the pitch, where she scored 15 goals and provided eight assists in helping Benfica win a third consecutive league title last season. First capped for her country at the age of 17, she brings genuine stardust to the Portugal line-up.


Thi Kim Thanh Tran Vietnam owe their place at Australia & New Zealand 2023 in large part to the heroics of Thanh between the posts at the 2022 AFC Asian Women’s Cup. She pulled off more saves than any other keeper at the tournament and has picked up where she left off, denying USA legend Alex Morgan from the spot in her side’s opener, the high point of another impressive display.

Facts and figures

  • Portugal played 13 matches in qualifying, more than any of the other 31 teams in the tournament

  • Only four of Francisco Neto’s 23-strong squad have never appeared at a major competition before. The other 19 are veterans of the UEFA Women’s EURO tournaments in 2017 and 2022

  • Vietnam are one of four national teams at Australia & New Zealand 2023™ with squads containing 22 home-based players

  • Portugal and Vietnam are among the tournament’s eight debutantes



“Above all else, we need a Portugal that goes out and dominates possession, occupies the last third, and plays an attack-minded game, with lots of people getting into the box and having shots on goal. There are still six points up for grabs and we have to go for them and make our dream of reaching the next round come true.” Francisco Neto, Portugal coach

“We feel comfortable at this World Cup. We’re not scared in any way or feel any kind of obligation in any game. We’re going into them with the mindset that we’ve got nothing to lose. That’s how we took on USA and that’s what we’ll be doing again this time.” Mai Duc Chung, Vietnam coach


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