The Philippine women's national football team is headed to the second round of the 2024 AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament after a comfortable 4-0 victory over Hong Kong on Tuesday night at the Hisor Central Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.
The Filipinas completed a three-match sweep of Group E in the first round of the qualifiers, scoring a total of 16 goals against Hong Kong, Tajikistan, and Pakistan without conceding.
A first-half brace from Sarina Bolden and goals from Meryll Serrano and Quinley Quezada sealed the victory for the Filipinas, who looked dominant against a Hong Kong side that is ranked 79th in the world.
The Philippines will join already-seeded teams Australia, Japan, China, South Korea, and North Korea in the second round. Also progressing were Vietnam, Thailand, India, and Iran. The second round of the Olympic qualifiers will take place in October.
Bolden put the Filipinas ahead after just five minutes, speeding past her defender and beating Hong Kong 'keeper Ng Cheuk Wai in a one-on-one situation.
The Filipinas dominated possession the rest of the way, but wasted a bevy of chances to pad their lead. Katrina Guillou could have made it 2-0 off a counter in the 31st minute, but her attempt hit the post and was collected by Ng. Two minutes later, a long range attempt by Jaclyn Sawicki was tipped over the bar.
It wasn't until the 41st minute that Bolden broke through again, unleashing a strike from just outside the box that put the Filipinas up 2-0. Three minutes later, Quezada won a free kick from long distance, and Serrano uncorked a rocket to make it 3-0.
Quezada helped the Filipinas start the second half on a bright note, as she pounced on some loose defending by Hong Kong to fire past Ng in the 53rd minute.
This is the Philippines' second straight victory over Hong Kong; they won in thrilling fashion, 2-1, in the AFC Women's Asian Cup Qualifiers in September 2021 thanks to a late goal by Chandler McDaniel.
Olivia McDaniel got the start for the Filipinas but was rarely called to action; she made a save in the 85th minute after a long-range attempt by Hong Kong that proved to be the last time that they threatened the Philippines' goal.