Can Vietnam avoid 'doing a Thailand'? What the USWNT can expect from their opening World Cup opponents

Vietnam Women's World Cup qualifying Getty Images

Vietnam are one of eight teams making their Women's World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand this summer. Making it to the grandest stage of them all, though, would have seen fancical when they played their first ever game in 1997.

However, steady improvement over the past decade means they will be mixing it with some of the best players on the planet in Group E. The United States, the Netherlands and Portugal are their opponents - three extremely tough tests on paper.

Vietnam will therefore need a minor miracle to make it through to the knockout stages, but the fact that they have made it here at all is a source of enormous pride back home. Their journey begins with a daunting match against reigning champions, the U.S., where they'll be hoping to avoid a heavy defeat in front of a global television audience.

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