Asian football

PH women clinch quarterfinal berth in AFC Asian Cup

Juro Morilla
PH women clinch quarterfinal berth in AFC Asian Cup

BREAKTHROUGH. The Philippine women's football players celebrate their crucial victory.

ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

The Philippine women’s football team moves within a win of a historic World Cup spot after advancing to the Asian Cup quarterfinal

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team claimed a spot in the quarterfinal round of the AFC Asian Cup 2022 after overpowering Indonesia, 6-0, on Thursday, January 27 at the Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India. 

The dominant win also put the Philippines just a win away from securing a historic berth in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is set next year in Australia and New Zealand.

Philippine team captain Tahnai Annis slotted in two goals to lead the scoring barrage that saw five Nationals score against the Indonesians in the final group stage match.

The Filipinas, though, hope to sustain the momentum in their knockout quarterfinal duel against Chinese Taipei on Sunday, January 30, as they shoot for a spot in the final four that comes with a World Cup seat.

Australia topped Group B with 9 points and a +23 goal difference to advance to the next round with the Philippines, which finished second with 6 points and a +3 goal difference.  

Thailand wound up third (3 points, +2 goal difference) but also secured a spot after emerging as one of the tournament’s two best third-placers along with Group C’s Vietnam. 

Indonesia, meanwhile, finished winless and goalless in the group for 0 points and a -28 goal difference.

Katrina Guillou finally bagged her first goal for the Philippines as she smashed in a well-taken goal at the 6’ mark near the penalty spot.

It was a quick turnaround for Guillou, who just a few seconds earlier, had an unsuccessful tap-in attempt following Sarina Bolden’s penalty miss. 

Bolden then made up for the miscue at the 27th minute by connecting with Jessica Miclat’s free kick – which was wonderfully earned by young full-back Malea Cesar seconds earlier.

Miclat whipped in a perfect free kick near the left corner and was headed in by Bolden, who jumped over two Indonesians, at the far post. 

The third goal of the match came from Annis as her powerful right-footed attempt outside the box was too much for the goalkeeper to handle. 

Indonesian goalkeeper Riska Aprilia initially made contact with Annis’ shot, but the ball continued to roll past the goal line to make it 3-0 at the 56’ mark.

Miclat joined the scoring festivities as she placed in a right-footed penalty past the goalie at the 74’ mark.

Annis scored another screamer – probably the goal of the match – as she unleashed a right-footed shot from way out after a weak clearance from an Indonesian defender at the 82’ mark.

Cesar finished off the match with a tap-in four minutes into added time as the Philippines cruised to their second victory in three games.

The Philippines received an early chance to score a goal at the 4th minute of the match after they were awarded a penalty by the referee. Bolden stepped in to take the 12-yard spot kick, but her right-footed attempt to drill it at the bottom left corner just rattled the post.

Guillou reacted the fastest to follow up on the missed penalty kick, but her left-footed shot had little power and was easily saved by Indonesia’s Aprilia, who just got up after her initial dive to save Bolden’s missed penalty. 

Indonesia had its only shot of the half at the 25th minute as Insyafadya Salsabillah dribbled her way toward the box and launched a left-footed shot that was way off the target.

It was a difficult attempt for the Indonesian forward as she was off-balanced and had Kristen Bugay and Dominique Randle closing her down. 

The 32nd minute saw Cesar deliver an accurate low cross from the left side of the box for Bolden who was waiting in the middle, but the latter hit the same post from her penalty miss once again.

Despite scoring a goal already, Bolden continued her offensive assault in the second half as she connected with a corner kick, but her header went wide for a goal kick.

Chandler McDaniel, the lone scorer in the Philippines’ triumph over Thailand, had a left-footed shot saved at the 53rd minute as the squad pushed for another goal. 

Toward the end of the match, substitute Isabella Flanigan missed a golden opportunity to get into the score sheet after failing to convert fellow substitute Anicka Castañeda’s clever through ball. – Rappler.com