Asian football

Filipinas yield to Thailand, finish second in Group A

Juro Morilla
Filipinas yield to Thailand, finish second in Group A

REGIONAL RIVALS. Thailand showcases its top form anew against the Philippines.

PFF

The semis-bound Philippine women’s football team absorbs its first loss in the AFF Women’s Championship 

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team fell to Thailand, 1-0, and absorbed its first loss in the AFF Women’s Championship 2022 on Tuesday, July 12, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

A miscommunication from substitute Sofia Harrison and starter Dominique Randle allowed Kanayanat Chetthabutr to slip in and head the ball past goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel at the 74’ mark.

Her header was enough to catapult Thailand to the top of Group A with 13 points and a +12 goal difference.

With the win on the final day of Group A action, Thailand nailed the top spot heading into the semifinals while eliminating third-ranked Australia.

The Philippines, which secured a semifinal berth last Sunday in its win against Indonesia, slipped to second place with 12 points and a +14 goal difference.

Only the top two teams in each group will advance to the Final Four. 

Both the Philippines and Thailand only need to wait for the final standings in Group B to determine their semifinal foes.

Philippine head coach Alen Stajcic shuffled his starting lineup once again as only two players, Jessica Miclat and Hali Long, retained their respective spots from the previous match.

Sarina Bolden, who grabbed a hat trick against Indonesia, began the match on the bench and only appeared at the 81’ mark for starter Carleigh Frilles.

Following a huge error in the last game, Inna Palacios was relegated as the team’s third choice goalkeeper for the match as McDaniel finally got another start after sitting out the last three games.

McDaniel and the Philippines’ defense were tested early on as Thailand looked to break the scoreless deadlock first.

On the opposite end of the pitch, Thailand goalkeeper Chotmanee Thongmongkol generated a brilliant save at the 29th minute as she denied Jessika Cowart’s left-footed shot from close range.

Thirteen minutes later, Frilles had two consecutive shots, but Thongmongkol and the Thailand defense stood tall to keep the score at nil-all heading into the final 45 minutes of the match.

Thailand began the second half on a positive note as Kanyanat Chetthabutr got away from two Philippine defenders and had a clean look for a header, but her effort just sailed wide.

Just a couple of minutes before she was subbed out, Sara Eggesvik launched a long-range shot after she collected the deflected low cross of Katrina Guillou, but the shot on target was easily caught by the keeper. 

Eggesvik was then subbed out along with Cowart and Eva Madarang as Stajcic opted to bring in Anicka Castañeda, Harrison, and Malea Cesar respectively.

The Philippines’ last real chance came at the 75th minute via Quinley Quezada, but her hurried attempt on goal resulted in a goal kick as it went way above the opposing keeper and the goal bar.

The semifinal phase of the AFF Women’s Championship 2022 will begin on Friday, July 15, at 4 pm, in the same venue. – Rappler.com

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