The road to the 2019 FIFA World Cup in Paris, France just got trickier for the Philippine Women’s National Football Team
Needing a win to qualify outright for the World Cup and advance to the semifinals of the 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, the Philippines instead ended its Group A run with a 1-3 defeat at the hands of Thailand at the King Abdullah II Stadium, in Amman, Jordan.
The floodgates opened for Thailand at the 28th minute. Philippines skipper Tahnai Annis’ handball inside the Filipinas’ box forced the referee to point at the spot. Thai striker Kanjana Sung-Ngoen converted the spot-kick despite Filipina goalkeeper Kearra Bastes-Jones’ efforts salvage the situation.
Sung-Ngoen then got her second goal of the evening with a strike inside the Filipinas box to double Thailand’s cushion at the 53rd minute. The Philippines’ hopes for a comeback were soon killed off nine minutes later thanks to a free kick from midfielder Silawan Intamee.
Already down by three goals, the Filipinas pulled a consolation goal back thanks to Jesse Shugg. Ultimately, it was Thailand’s night to enjoy as the Chaba Kaew reached the semi-finals of the Asian Cup for the first time since 1986 as well as qualify for the World Cup for the second time in their history.
Group A’s final standings read China on top with a perfect slate of 9 points, Thailand below them with 6 points, Philippines with 3 points while host nation Jordan had zero.
Not all is lost for the Philippines, however, in terms of World Cup qualification.
The Filipinas’ third place finish in Group A allows them to participate in the fifth-place playoff match against their Group B counterparts. The winner of that match gets Asia’s last ticket to the World Cup. It will be played on April 17, 2:00 AM at the Amman International Stadium, Amman.