The Philippine girls team in action against El Salvador in the Street Child World Cup in Rio de Janeiro. Handout photo from Fairplay for All Foundation.
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine girls team advanced to the quarter-finals of the Street Child World Cup as one of the top seeds after topping their group with a 3-1 victory over El Salvador yesterday in Rio De Janeiro.
The girls missed several good chances before Agot put the Philippines in front with a free-kick that hit the bar and just crossed the line before bouncing back out.
The second goal was a thing of beauty, as the girls put together several passes to open up the El Salvador defense and put the ball across goal for Angelica to tap in before halftime.
After the break, El Salvador rallied and pressured the Philippines, with their captain in particular making several good runs before being stopped by the Philippine girls.
Still, Philippine goal-keeper Joy was not threatened until a questionable free kick was hit from range and looped over her and into the net, allowing El Salvador to pull a goal back.
El Salvador continued to threaten on the counter-attack, but the Philippine girls held their own, continuing to dominate possession and create opportunities. They hit the woodwork again before Ronalyn wrapped up the win with a strike from close range.
The win allowed the Philippines to top Group 2, with two wins in two assignments. They qualified to the quarter-finals as either the top seed or the second seed, depending on the outcome of Brazil’s game against Zimbabwe tomorrow.
Maylene, who comes from SOS Village in Davao, described the win as “ayos lang.”
“Kahit medyo nag-panic kami, naibalik ang focus,” she said.
The girls will take the next day to recover and support the boys’ team in their final two games before finding out who their opponents will be in the quarter finals on Friday.
The boys will play Tanzania tomorrow morning and Argentina in the afternoon. The winner between Tanzania and the Philippines will determine who finishes second in the tough group stage.
With the top two qualifying automatically of the five in the group, and additional spots for the best two of three third-placers in all the groups, the Philippine boys team will be looking for an automatic qualifying spot for the quarter finals.
It will be a real achievement as the Philippines would likely become the only team to field a girls and boys team and have them both reach the knockout stages of the tournament.