After a promising 2-0 start in the early going, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team was unable to hold on and buckled under the pressure of a determined Chinese Taipei side losing 2-4.
The Filipinas stunned their Taiwanese counterparts with a salvo in the first 32 minutes, Saturday night at the Grand Hamad Stadium in Doha, Qatar. For the second straight game, it was Joyce Semacio again who delivered the opening goal — a 40-yard scorcher in the 13th minute — after catching goalkeeper Liao Wen-Chi out of position.
Nineteen minutes later, Patricia Tomanon followed up with her own goal, collecting a rebound that fell into her path. She then unleashed a top-of-the-box strike that gave the 74th-ranked Philippines an unlikely 2-0 lead against their 40th-ranked opponents.
This was the final straw for Kazuo Echigo, who immediately inserted star veteran Michelle Pao into the mix in a bid to regain control of the game. The effect was instant, as Chinese Taipei won a penalty from an apparent off-the-ball foul inside the box. Inna Palacios was unable to deny the Pao spot kick and this put the match within reach at halftime.
The circumstances surrounding the penalty continued to rattle the team after the break. Tomanon fell prey to a defensive mistake that led to an own goal, erasing the advantage the Pinays had earned with the second half barely started.
Fifteen minutes later, Pao was instrumental again, as her attempted shot deflected off Alesa Dolino’s head. With Palacios wrong-footed, the East Asians have taken the lead.
Let Dimzon’s side tried to fight for an equalizer, but all efforts were in vain as substitute Ting Chi’s 87th minute strike delivered the final blow.
The ladies needed this game to secure top position in the group, but the privilege has gone to Chinese Taipei instead. The Philippines will now have to win their final match against Palestine heavily (Tuesday, April 9, 7:00 p.m. local time or Wednesday, April 10, 12:00 m.n. Philippine time at the Saoud Bin Abdulrahman Stadium) for any hope of advancing to the next round.
Chinese Taipei leads the group with 6 points (+5 GD). Iran (+7 GD) and the Philippines (0 GD) have 3 points each, followed by Palestine with 0 (-12 GD).
Philippines XI: Palacios (GK), Long, Dolino, Tomanon, Bernal (Shelton) (Rodriguez), Impelido (C), Simarago, Madarang, Del Campo, Castañeda, Semacio
Chinese Taipei XI: Liao Wen-Chi (GK), Liu Wen-Ling (Ting Chi), Zhuo Li-Ping, Su Sin-Yun (Pao), Y.P. Chen, H.H. Wang (C), S.O. Tseng, Chang Chi-Lan, Lin Ci-Hui, S. P. Wu (Hsu Yi-Yun), S.H. Chang