Asian football

PH women snatch late winner past Thailand in Asian Cup opener

Juro Morilla
PH women snatch late winner past Thailand in Asian Cup opener

THRILLER. The Philippine women's football team celebrates after a stunning win over Thailand.

ASIAN FOOTBALL CONFEDERATION

Chandler McDaniel’s strike at the 81st minute sends the Philippines to a stunning victory over Thailand 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team opened its 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 triumph against Thailand on Friday, January 21, at the D.Y. Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India. 

Surrounded by Thailand players, Chandler McDaniel fearlessly unleashed a right-footed shot from way outside the box to try her luck to obtain a late winner, and with a little help from Thailand goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsong, she succeeded.

The goalie initially caught the ball, but it eventually slipped through her fingers as it bounced between her legs and rolled toward the goal. The ball went past the goal line and the referee made no mistake in awarding the goal.

With the opening win, the Philippines climbs to second in Group B just behind world No. 11 Australia, which battered world No. 94 Indonesia, 18-0, earlier in the day.

Thailand, meanwhile, goes to third place just ahead of Indonesia due to a better goal difference.

The Filipinas started the match impressively as they were well organized at the back while keeping the pressure up top to search for goal scoring opportunities. 

The Philippines almost broke the deadlock inside the first 13 minutes with a wonderful right-footed volley from Katrina Guillou near the penalty spot following an accurate cross from McDaniel on the right wing.

Guillou smashed it inside the Thailand goal, but was unfortunately flagged offside by the assistant referee. 

Almost eight minutes later, Guillou and McDaniel combined once again, but this time, it was the former who provided the pass. The latter did not hesitate to fire a shot inside the box, but a Thailand defender successfully blocked the attempt to keep the match scoreless.

Guillou made her presence felt once again as she latched on to a lobbed through ball for counter-attack and immediately attempted an audacious left-footed shot from way outside the box. She definitely beat Boonsong, but it was the crossbar that denied her another brilliant goal.

Thirteen minutes before halftime, McDaniel created another chance for her team with a cross from a free kick. Hali Long connected with the ball, but she just couldn’t guide her shot toward the goal as the half ended at 0-0.

The world No. 38 Thais were more active in the beginning of the second half as they looked on to finally break the stalemate and separate themselves from the 64th-ranked Philippines. 

Nutwadee Pram-Nak created a chance on her own at the 57’ mark as she dribbled away from the Filipinas and headed toward the goal. She then launched a left-footed shot just at the edge of the penalty arc, but it swerved off target which gave the Philippines a goal kick.

The Philippines responded with a shot on target at the 63rd minute courtesy of Quinley Quezada, but it was comfortably saved by Thailand’s goalie. 

Five minutes later, the Philippines had another chance as McDaniel’s powerful right-footed shot inside the box went too high after she chased down a brilliant flick on from a teammate.

After conceding a goal, Thailand pushed for a crucial equalizer, but the Philippines remained composed and kept its opponents scoreless to kick off its Asian Cup campaign on a winning note.

The Philippines will play Australia for its second group stage match on Monday, January 24, 6 pm at the Mumbai Football Arena in India. – Rappler.com