SEA Games 2023

Tough break for Filipinas as Myanmar exacts SEA Games revenge with late penalty

Delfin Dioquino

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Tough break for Filipinas as Myanmar exacts SEA Games revenge with late penalty

TOUGH BREAK. Sarina Bolden and the Philippine women's football team drop their Cambodia SEA Games opener against Myanmar.


The Philippine women's football team suffers a heartbreaking start to its SEA Games campaign in Cambodia after a narrow loss to Myanmar

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The Philippines’ semifinal bid in the Southeast Asian Games women’s football competition has turned into an uphill climb after it fell to Myanmar, 1-0, at the Old Stadium here on Wednesday, May 3.

A penalty kick by Win Theingi Tun at the 89th minute paved the way for the Burmese to redeem themselves in a rematch of the bronze-medal duel in the previous SEA Games, which the Filipinas won.

Last year in Vietnam, the Philippines came from behind against Myanmar, 2-1, to secure its first podium finish in nearly four decades, or since it also captured bronze in the 1985 edition.

But the Burmese flipped the script this time after an official called a foul on Filipinas defender Sofia Harrison for colliding with a Myanmar player inside the box.

Tun then coolly drove the penalty shot past Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel to break the scoreless deadlock and the Burmese held on until the final whistle.

Filipinas head coach Alej Stajcic, though, refused to pin the blame on the contentious foul.

“The referee made the call. That is her job,” Stajcic said in a brief press conference.

With the loss, the Philippines needs to beat Malaysia and three-time defending champion Vietnam in its last two games in Group A to bolster its semifinal chances as only the top two teams will advance to the knockout stages.

Doing that, however, is a tall order.

Although the Filipinas drubbed the Malaysians in their last meeting in the 2019 SEA Games, 5-0, the Vietnamese have not lost a game since the 2017 edition.

The Philippines will get ample time to go back to the drawing board before it faces Malaysia on Saturday, May 6, at the same venue. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.