MANILA, Philippines – Myanmar secured a spot at the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-19 Women’s Championships Qualifying Round 2 after a 4-0 upset over the Philippines on Friday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
This forced the Philippines to a do-or-die battle against Chinese Taipei for the second slot on Sunday.
In the 18th minute, forward Nilar Win’s free kick curved over the Philippine’s defensive wall and landed past the goal line for a 1-0 lead in the first half.
Myanmar resumed goal scoring in the 60th minute when the Philippine backline failed to clear forward May Thu Kyaw’s strike off a cross from the right flank.
A minute later, Myanmar midfielder Win Theingi Tun caught Philippine goal keeper and captain Inna Palacios unguarded and pushed in another goal. This pushed Myanmar’s lead to 3-0.
The Philippine team showed fighting spirit with strikes by midfielders Camille Rodriguez Sara Castaneda, and substitute Cristina Delos Reyes, but none of their attempts found their way into the goal.
Despite Palacios’ superb goal keeping, defensive errors led to a free kick at the top of the box, where forward Nilar Win replicated a free-kick goal in the 85th minute.
At the final whistle, Despite the Philippines’ slight edge over Myanmar in ball possession, Myanmar tallied 17 attempts on target, 13 of which were saved by Palacios.
Of the Philippines’ seven goal-scoring attempts, only two were on target.
“Both teams played well, but we need more finishing, aggressiveness and discipline in defense”, said assistant coach Franklin “Kleng” Cacacho.
“We had so many chances, but we just couldn’t finish”, added head coach Letecia “Buda” Bautista in a post match interview. Bautista is the first and only woman coach with a Class A coaching license issued by AFC-FIFA in the Philippines.
The loss to Myanmar gives the Philippines a 1-1 win-loss record that puts the Filipinas in 3rd place of Group C.
They are behind Chinese Taipei, who is ahead on goal difference.
Both teams will face each other in a crucial match on Sunday at 6 p.m. to determine who will join Myanmar in the next AFC championships qualification round.