Asian Games

Filipinas book historic Asian Games football quarterfinal spot

Juro Morilla

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Filipinas book historic Asian Games football quarterfinal spot

STELLAR. Sara Eggesvik delivers for the Philippine women's football team.


The Philippine women’s football team continues to make history as the Filipinas advance to the quarterfinals behind Sarina Bolden and Sara Eggesvik

MANILA, Philippines – There’s still no stopping the history-making Philippine women’s football team. 

The Filipinas booked a breakthrough quarterfinal berth in the 19th Asian Games after a dominant 3-0 victory over Myanmar on Thursday, September 28, at the Wenzhou Sports Centre Stadium in Wenzhou, China.

It’s the first time in 65 years that a football team from the Philippines reached the knockout stage of the continental tournament.

The last Philippine team that advanced to the quarterfinals of the Asian Games was the 1958 national men’s squad. 

Sarina Bolden opened the scoring and Sara Eggesvik also delivered a brace to propel the Filipinas – who just made history during their maiden World Cup stint – to the last eight.

The Philippines finished second in Group E with 6 points and a +1 goal difference, good enough to qualify in the quarterfinal round as one of the three best group runners-up.

South Korea topped the group with an unblemished record of 9 points and a +12 goal difference. 

Myanmar had 3 points and a -3 goal difference at third followed by Hong Kong with 0 points and a -8 goal difference in Group E.

Exquisite Eggesvik

Bolden was brought down in the penalty box and stepped up to convert the spot kick at the 19th minute to give the Philippines an early 1-0 advantage. 

Fifteen minutes into the second half, Eggesvik doubled the Filipinas’ lead with an exquisite volley off a header pass from Bolden.

Eggesvik then doubled her own goal tally, while lifting the Philippines to a 3-0 advantage, as she slotted in the ball past the goalkeeper after receiving an excellent through ball from Meryll Serrano.

Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso only made one adjustment in his starting lineup from the previous match as Reina Bonta replaced Katrina Guillou, who missed out due to club commitments in Sweden, where she plays for Pitea IF.

Replacing Bonta from the substitutes bench is Arianna Isabella Markey, the team captain of the Filipinas under-17 squad that recently secured a spot in the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup Indonesia 2024 Finals.

Following Bolden’s well-taken penalty kick, the Filipinas had multiple chances to add more goals, but most of their shot attempts were off the mark as the Myo Mya Mya Nyein, Myanmar’s goalkeeper, remained unchallenged in open play. 

On the other side of the pitch, the Philippines’ defense remained steady despite facing a heavy offensive onslaught by the trailing Burmese.

Myanmar’s Yoon Wadi Hlaing had the best chance of equalizing the score before the halftime whistle, but her powerful shot just grazed the bar as it went out for a goal kick at the 38’ mark.

In a two-minute span starting at the 53’ mark, Bolden hit the woodwork twice –the  bar with a header and the left post with a left-footed shot – as she continued to brilliantly lead the Philippines’ attack in their 4-2-3-1 formation.

Soon after Eggesvik’s brace, Torcaso inserted multiple substitutes and took out Bolden as they prepared for the quarterfinals of the Asian Games.

The knockout round will begin on Saturday, September 30, and the 44th-ranked  Philippines will face world No. 8 Japan, Asia’s highest-ranked country. –

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