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Annis brace powers Philippines to Women’s Asian Cup playoffs

For the first time since its inception in 1980, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team has qualified for the quarterfinals of the continent’s biggest competition after prevailing 6-0 over Indonesia in the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022, Thursday evening at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune, India.

“The team just keeps raising the bar; every time we do something new and create a bit of history,” commented coach Alen Stajcic. “It is a new thing for the team, for the country. The first bit of history was obviously beating Thailand for the first time, and now we won two matches in the Asian Cup for the first time in history.

The Filipinas had an eventful start to the match as they were awarded a penalty early on following a handball in the Indonesians’ box. Striker Sarina Bolden then hit the post with her spot-kick, only for her teammate Katrina Guillou to perform a fine finish soon after at the 6th minute to draw first blood for coach Alen Stajcic’s wards.

Eager to make up for her earlier miss, Bolden then was able to find the back off the net at the 27th minute when she headed home midfielder Jessica Anne Miclat’s freekick. Bolden then almost scored the Philippines’ third of the match but she was denied anew by the post.

The Philippines’ dominance over Indonesia was cemented after the halftime break thanks to skipper Tahnai Annis’ magnificent strike. The 32-year-old midfielder unleashed a fantastic longshot from outside the box, which rendered Indonesian goalkeeper Riska Aprilia helpless at the 56th minute.

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With the game all but won, Miclat then turned provider to goalscorer at the 74th minute as she converted a penalty while Annis secured a brace at the 82nd minute. Malea Cesar then capped off the night with the final goal in stoppage time to mark the Philippines’ biggest ever win in the tournament.

The result increases the Filipinas’ points tally to 6 points, which is enough to secure the runners-up spot in Group B. On the other hand, Indonesia exits the competition with zero points at the back of three defeats.

“I believe it’s a record score for us in an Asian Cup — so that’s another bit of history. And I believe it is also our first time ever in the knockout rounds ever in the Asian Cup. So every time you put in performances like that and for me two-and-a-half games of really good football, you just keep raising the ceiling and the expectations of what we know we can achieve,” added Stajcic

The Philippines looks to extend its successful Asian Cup campaign and continue its quest for a FIFA World Cup 2023 slot when it takes on Chinese Taipei this Sunday at 10:00 PM (Manila time) at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune.

Philippines XI: Cesar, Randle, Annis ©, C. McDaniel, Miclat, Bugay, Frilles, Bolden, Madarang, Guillou, O. McDaniel (GK).

Indonesia XI: Rumbewas, Shalika, Pani, Octaviani, Maulina ©, Baiq Amiatun, Muzdalifah, Vivi, Tia Darti, Riska (GK), Insyafadya.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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