With Myanmar claiming the top spot on better goal difference despite sharing the same number of wins and points after the second match day, the Philippine Women’s U-16 National Football team needed to beat them for an automatic slot into the next round of AFC U-16 Women’s Championship 2019 Qualifiers.
However, a stronger Myanmar side emerged and silenced the hopeful Filipinas, 5-1, in Kathmandu, Nepal on Sunday.
Myanmar was relentless from the start, plundering the Philippines’ half of the field from the get-go. The pressure rewarded it with opportunities which were only snuffed out by the defense and Odeza Yap’s saves.
Unfortunately, she didn’t hold out very long, as the Myanmar made its breakthrough in the 15th minute. A lapse in judgment caused Yap to rush Zin Mar Htwe too early, resulting in an easy finish for the Burmese forward.
The errors continued to be costly for the Pinays when Myanmar got their second goal from an own goal in the 19th minute.
Similar to their last meeting in the AFF U-16 Girls Championship last May, the young Pinays were helpless against a Burmese onslaught that did not relent. They even added a third goal in at the last minute of first half added time, when a corner kick connected with Swe Mar Aung’s head.
The trend continued in the second half for the ladies in white, who got another goal just two minutes from restart. The ladies in blue could not prevent a flanking run which found Htwe on the other end, who only had to tap in the shot.
Mikaela Villacin made things interesting for the Philippines with thirty minutes to go when she pulled a goal back after a beautiful running strike that beat keeper Khin Myat Moe.
But then Myanmar decided to have a last say in the contest when Aung scored her second goal of the game after a combination play that outsmarted her marker and Yap.
With the loss, the Philippines end this round of the AFC U-16 qualifiers in second place of Group E with six points and a goal difference of plus-1. Myanmar receives outright progression to the next round as leaders of the group with nine points.
The Philippines will have to wait for the conclusion of the other matches from the other groups to know its fate. Apart from the top teams of the six groups, the two best second-placed teams also advance.