It is said that all big dreams start with small steps, but the Philippine Women’s National Football Team wanted to make a statement.
Highlighted by Mae Cadag’s hat-trick, the Philippines routed South East Asian neighbors Singapore, 9-0, at the Hisor Central Stadium in Hisor, Tajikistan, to earn a dream start to the first round of the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
Cadag set the tone for the Filipinas when she broke the deadlock after just three minutes of play to throw Singapore’s tactics into disarray. It was a sign of things to come for the current University of Santo Tomas Lady Booter, as she scored twice more in the 5th and 43rd minutes to kill off the Singaporeans’ resistance.
Coach Let Dimzon’s other wards then needed no further invitation to join Cadag on the scoresheet. Filipino-American player Hali Long (32’& 59′) and De La Salle University Lady Booter Irish Navaja (52’& 67′) scored braces, while Navaja’s fellow UAAP stars Alesa Dolino (27′) and Sara Castaneda (57′) rounded off the goals.
Such was the Philippines’ performance that Singapore failed to even land a shot on target.
The result allows the Philippines to top Group A for the time being with 3 points and a goal difference of +9. Alongside the likes of Chinese Taipei, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Singapore, the Philippines needs to finish in the top two spots to qualify for the next round.
Qualification for the next stage means that the Filipinas will participate in another set of matches that are scheduled to be played around the first week of April 2019.
Up next for the Filipinas is the host country Tajikistan at the Hisor Central Stadium on November 8, 2018. Kick-off is 7:00 PM Philippine time.