The battle between the two undefeated teams of Group A in the AFF Women’s Championship 2019 went down Wednesday night in Chonburi, Thailand and it was the hosts who prevailed 4-2 after falling behind twice to the Philippines.
With the advantage of playing at home, Thailand was expected to win a comfortable match but that was anything but for the 39th-ranked team in the world.
A laser pass by Sara Castañeda in the 11th minute reached Quinley Quezada who finished with a sublime strike to the far post, placing the 67th-ranked Philippines ahead of the Thais for what could be the very first time in all their matches together.
Naturally, the Women’s World Cup finalist will not stand idly by and Silawan Intamee’s short cross found Jaruwan Chaiyarak on the other end to level the match just after five minutes.
The Pinays had promising moments in the few times they had possession yet the Thais continued to apply pressure in which at one point resulted in Alisha Del Campo getting booked for a foul, but neither side allowed goals for the rest of the half.
In the second period, the hosts kept control of the game until the 66th minute when the Philippines capitalized on a defensive lapse. Quezada again was on song as she outsmarted her defender and Salita Sutthiboon with a lobbed shot to again put the Philippines ahead.
The lead didn’t last very long, however, as the nationals succumbed to defensive miscommunications of their own which led to two quick goals conceded. Rattikan Thongsombut’s easy tap-in before assisting Intamee’s finish provided the second equalizer and go-ahead in the 74th and 75th minutes.
The Philippines almost kept it at to a single deficit but tired legs gave way to a 90th-minute giveaway to the Thais as Wilaiporn Boothduang dispossessed Alesa Dolino to slip one past Inna Palacios.
“It was a suffocating game and it was not easy creating chances against a team at the same level as us,” said the Thai coach Naruphon Kaenson who acknowledged the tough challenge the Pinays presented.
Let Dimzon meanwhile was proud of her squad’s efforts despite surrendering the match. “We created chances but we didn’t get it. At least we now know where we are,” she said.
The Philippines will hope to secure a semifinals berth against Singapore on Friday, August 23 at 4 p.m. Philippine time.
Philippines XI: Palacios, Lim, Long, Dolino, Simarago, Rodriguez (Navaja), Castañeda, Impelido (C), Lemoran, Quezada, Del Campo (Lustan)
Thailand XI: Sutthiboon, Sritala, Srangthaisong (C), Konfay, Phancha (Nutwadee), Somsai (Phonphirun), Intamee (Sung-Ngoen), Boothduang, Thongsombut, Chaiyarak, Nildhamrong