Asian Games

Japan goes berserk, ends Filipinas’ historic Asian Games debut

Juro Morilla

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Japan goes berserk, ends Filipinas’ historic Asian Games debut

TOP GUN. Sarina Bolden stars anew for the Philippine women's football team.


Asian Games powerhouse Japan drowns Sarina Bolden's late goal with 5 conversions in the last 20 minutes, definitively securing a semifinal berth, 8-1, and ending the Filipinas' historic debut

MANILA, Philippines – The historic 19th Asian Games campaign of the Philippine women’s football team came to a definitive, brutal end following an 8-1 quarterfinal defeat to heavyweight Japan on Saturday, September 30, at the Wenzhou Sports Centre Stadium in China.

Momoko Tanikawa broke the deadlock after converting a well-taken penalty kick at the 39th minute to give her team the lead before the end of the first half.

Seventeen-year-old Isabella Pasion conceded the decisive spot kick after being penalized for a handball inside the penalty box.

Haruka Osawa, a second half substitute, capitalized on Sarina Bolden’s error in the 58’ mark as she slotted in the ball past the goalie and gave Japan a comfortable 2-0 advantage.

Remina Chiba scored Japan’s third goal at the 65th minute as she guided the ball into the net following a beautiful cross from her teammate down the left wing.

Bolden gave the Philippines a lifeline two minutes later with a powerful header to cut the deficit at 3-1, but her 26th goal for the national team turned out to be the Philippines’ lone goal.

Substitute Mami Ueno recorded a second-half hat trick as she converted from a penalty, drilling in a close-range goal, and smashing in a belter at the 76th, 78th, and 81st minutes.

Ueno and Osawa added two more goals in added time to cement the scoreline at 8-1.

Following the massive triumph, Japan proceeded to the Asian Games semifinals, while the Filipinas finished as a top-eight team in their first-ever appearance in the continental tournament.

At the start of the match, new Filipinas head coach Mark Torcaso was forced to shuffle his starting line-up due to numerous players missing out on the crucial match versus Japan.

Katrina Guillou, who missed the previous game against Myanmar due to club commitments, was joined by Reina Bonta, Jessika Cowart, and Quinley Quezada in the unavailable list.

Pasion and Kaya Hawkinson were named first time starters in the continental tournament, while Chandler McDaniel was reinserted in the starting eleven after coming off the bench in the last two matches.

Japan, which has scored 23 goals in the group stage without conceding, started the game by dominating possession and kept Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel alert.

Chiba had the best chance to open the scoring at the 16’ mark, however, her header just smashed the woodwork as the match remained at 0-0.

Eleven minutes later, Filipinas team captain Hali Long was given a straight red card after committing a foul on a counter-attacking Chiba.

Despite playing with 10 players on a rainy and slippery pitch, the Filipinas kept their composure and nullified every attack from Japan to keep the match scoreless until Tanikawa’s successful penalty kick at the 39th minute.

A couple of minutes before the halftime break, the officials called for a competition delay due to weather, as heavy rain continued to pour, while a thunder was heard near the stadium.

Seven minutes into the last 45 minutes, both Yuzuko Yamamoto and Tanikawa each launched an on-target left-footed shot inside the penalty box, but O. McDaniel caught the first and parried away the second attempt to keep the scoreline at 1-0.

O. McDaniel pulled off more multiple impressive saves in the second half, however, Japan showed its might and poured in the goals to eliminate the Filipinas in their maiden Asian Games campaign. –

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