Philippine women's football team

Filipinas defeat Iran to close out 2024 Paris Olympics Asian qualifiers 2nd round

Juro Morilla

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Filipinas defeat Iran to close out 2024 Paris Olympics Asian qualifiers 2nd round

RIGHTING SHIP. Philippine women's football team Tahnai Annis reacts in the 2024 Paris Olympics Asian qualifiers

Neil Bravo/PFF/PWNT

(1st UPDATE) Behind team captain Tahnai Annis’ 19th minute winner, the Philippine women’s football team secures a top 2 spot in Group A with two wins and one loss

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team managed to end its campaign in the second round of the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Tournament on a high note as it recorded a 1-0 victory over Iran on Wednesday, November 1, at the HBF Park in Australia.

Filipinas team captain Tahnai Annis broke the deadlock at the 19th minute after she reacted the fastest to pounce on the rebound off a saved Sofia Harrison right-footed shot. 

Jessika Cowart released Alicia Barker down the right wing, then the latter pulled off a brilliant cut-back for Harrison, but Iran’s goalkeeper parried the attempt. 

It was at that moment when Annis beat four Iranians on the ball to strike it towards the upper right corner of the goal and beyond the reach of Zahra Khajavi, Iran’s goalie.

After playing three matches in the second round of the Asian qualifiers, the Filipinas will most likely end up as Group A runners-up with 6 points and a -4 goal difference.

Iran temporarily slides down to the bottom of the four-team group with 0 points and a -3 goal difference. 

The final standings in Group A are yet to be determined as the match between 11th-ranked Australia and world No. 38 Chinese Taipei will kick off later in the evening at 7.

Australia currently leads Group A after accumulating 6 points and a +10 goal difference in two matches, while Chinese Taipei collected a point and a -3 goal difference. 

Only the three group winners and the best group runners-up will proceed to the last phase of the Asian qualifiers.

The Filipinas’ fate of advancing to the third and final round is in the hands of the other teams as they have to wait for the results of the matches between China vs South Korea, Japan vs Vietnam, and Uzbekistan vs India.

Unlike in the first half of the Australia match, the Filipinas dominated the possession against Iran at 62%, but they weren’t able to score multiple goals in the first 45 minutes as the Iranians stood tall.

In the second half, Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso tried to increase their goal tally as he made a quadruple change and brought in Jessica Miclat, Eva Madarang, Quinley Quezada, and Reina Bonta for Annis, Barker, Jaclyn Sawicki, and Hali Long.

Forward Sarina Bolden was handed the captain’s armband, while Miclat, who missed the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, finally made her successful return to the national team and received her first minutes in the second round of the qualifying tournament.

Substitute Madarang was stretchered off at the 71’ mark after absorbing a hard challenge and was replaced by fellow defender Dominique Randle. 

Both teams stayed scoreless in the final 45 minutes as the Filipinas registered their second win, while Iran closed their second round campaign without scoring a goal in three matches.

The third and final round of the 2024 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament will commence in February 2024 and will be held in a two-legged home and away format. –

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