Football: Thailand denies Filipinas a chance at SEA Games gold

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2022 06:28 PM | Updated as of May 18 2022 08:10 PM

Philippine skipper Tahnai Annis (6) in action against Thailand in the first half of their semifinal match in the 31st Southeast Asian Games. PWNT/Raymond Braganza.
Philippine skipper Tahnai Annis (6) in action against Thailand in the first half of their semifinal match in the 31st Southeast Asian Games. PWNT/Raymond Braganza.

(2ND UPDATE) The Philippine women's national football team missed out on a chance to play for gold in the 31st Southeast Asian Games after a painful 3-0 defeat to Thailand in the semifinal, Wednesday afternoon at the Cẩm Phả Stadium in Quảng Ninh.

Goals from Thailand captain Silawan Intamee and Taneekarn Dangda broke the Filipinas' hearts as they denied the Philippines a spot in the finals.

Ploychompoo Somnuek put the finishing touches on Thailand's victory in the 91st minute.

The Filipinas still have a chance for bronze against the loser of the other semifinal match between Myanmar and host nation Vietnam.

"The result is the result. Thailand were the better team and they deserved to win," Philippines coach Alen Stajcic said afterward. "Our passing was pretty poor tonight and our marking in the box wasn't very good."

"It was better against Vietnam and today against a good opponent, it wasn't good enough and we were punished," he added.

It was a tough outing for the Philippines, as they had memorably beaten Thailand, 1-0, in the group stage of the AFC Women's Asian Cup last January in Navi Mumbai, India. It was the Filipinas' first win against their Southeast Asian rivals after 13 straight defeats.

The Philippines went on to reach the semis of the Women's Asian Cup and secure a spot to next year's FIFA Women's World Cup. SEA Games gold continues to elude the Filipinas, however, as they fell in the semifinals for the second straight edition of the biennial event. 

The Filipinas had a bright start, with Sofia Harrison finding Quinley Quezada in the box only for Quezada's header to be easily collected by Thai goal-keeper Waraporn Boonsing.

Thailand got its breakthrough in the 22nd minute, as Intamee turned her defender inside the box to fire past Olivia McDaniel.

The Filipinas were more aggressive to end the half, but also wasted their chances inside Thailand's half. They had a chance to respond just five minutes after Intamee's opener, as Tahnai Annis lofted a ball inside the box but Thailand was able to block Quezada's attempt.

In the 33rd, a good build-up went for naught as Sarina Bolden's cross was not met by a teammate. The Filipinas had their best chance in the closing minute, as Annis' strike off a free kick was met by Hali Long, whose attempt was just wide.

Their strong end to the half gave the Filipinas some confidence but their hopes were dashed just two minutes after the restart, when Dangda turned past Long inside the box to beat McDaniel. 

Chances came few and far between for the Philippines from there, and Somnuek completed the scoring for Thailand in the 91st minute, connecting on a cross by Saowalak Pengngam.

The Filipinas managed just three shots on target throughout the game, with Thailand enjoying 51% of the possession.

"Sometimes you play well, sometimes you don't and today we didn't have the quality and we were punished by the better team. It's pretty simple," said Stajcic.

They will now wait for the result of the other semifinal between Myanmar and Vietnam.