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MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine women’s football team earned itself a huge shot in the arm in its 2023 Southeast Asian Games semifinal bid after a last-gasp Sarina Bolden header capped off a 1-0 escape over Malaysia at the RCAF Old Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on Saturday, May 6.
Frustrated by multiple corner kicks and free kicks that went for naught on top of an upbeat Malaysian defense, the Filipinas scrambled to get any sort of offense going amid 7 added minutes.
Somehow, a tiny window opened right at the very end as a last-minute yellow card on Malaysia awarded the Philippines one last set piece, which Sara Eggesvik initiated from just outside the box to find Bolden for the jaw-dropping game-winner.
“Tough game. Not our best performance. We haven’t played well here so far, but we showed a bit of resilience, a little bit of character to keep fighting until the end,” said Filipinas’ head coach Alen Stajcic.
In impressive fashion, the Fil-Am standout tallied her 21st national team career goal, one away from again tying Quinley Quezada for the most in Filipinas’ history.
With the win, the Philippines got 3 much-needed points to get past opening-match tormentor Myanmar and right in the mix for a semis berth.
However, the Filipinas must now either score a decisive win over top-ranked Vietnam on Tuesday, May 9, 3 pm, or hope now-eliminated Malaysia vents its ire and win over Myanmar. – Rappler.com