MANILA (UPDATED) - Playing from behind for the first time in the tournament, the Philippine women's national football team produced an emphatic response to clobber Indonesia, 4-1, on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
A howler by veteran goal-keeper Inna Palacios saw the Filipinas give up their first goal of the 2022 AFF Women's Championship, as Carla Bio Pattinasarany pounced on a stunning error by the Filipina No. 1 to put Indonesia ahead in the 38th minute.
But the Filipinas showed tremendous resolve and came back with renewed energy in the first half, where they put four goals into the back of the net to take the fight out of the Indonesians. The star of the show was Sarina Bolden, who netted a hat-trick much to the delight of the 1500-strong crowd at the Rizal Memorial.
"You have to give credit to Indonesia," said Philippines coach Alen Stajcic after the match. "They deserved the lead at halftime. They looked hungrier, their counter-attacks were threatening."
"But for us not to play our best game, and to come back in the second half and show our resilience is a really good quality," he added. "It's amazing resilience from the group, and in that respect, I'm really happy."
With the win, the Filipinas now have 12 points from four matches in Group A, and are safely through to the semifinals of the AFF tournament.
Stajcic made three changes at the half, sending in Katrina Guillou, Jaclyn Sawicki, and Sara Eggesvik. The switch paid off almost immediately: playing at a faster pace, the Filipinas dominated possession early and it paid off with a strike from skipper Tahnai Annis that leveled the match in the 48th minute.
From there, the Filipinas were on a roll. Eggesvik continued her fine form, finding Bolden with a superb cross to put the PWNFT ahead, 2-1, in the 57th. Seven minutes later, it was Sawicki's turn to swing in a ball for Bolden for another strike that beat Indonesia's Prihatini.
Bolden didn't have to wait long for her hat-trick: off a counter-attack, her initial attempt was rebuffed by the Indonesia 'keeper, but the striker would not be denied as she was first to the rebound and put it in the back of the net for 4-1.
"It's really special," Bolden said of scoring a hat-trick. "It's not every day that you get a hat-trick at home. I'm really proud of that, and really proud of my teammates for not giving up."
Bolden took her tally to 14 international goals for the Philippines. She now has five in the tournament, tying her with Australia's Amy Sayer in the Golden Boot race.
The Filipinas will wrap up their Group A schedule against Thailand, in a match that will decide their seeding for the semifinal.
Thailand currently have 10 points after routing Malaysia, 4-0, at the Binan Football Stadium.
Earlier Sunday, Australia kept its hopes of making the semifinal alive after beating Singapore, 4-1, also at the Rizal Memorial.