The Philippines Women’s National Football Team dug deep in dramatic circumstances to edge closer to a berth in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup.
Despite being a goal down in the first half, goals from Tahnai Annis and Camille Wilson late in the match’s dying moments propelled the Filipinas towards a memorable 2-1 victory over Nepal in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers, Saturday evening at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
“The new players that were introduced in this game played very well. They were, in fact… They initiated the first goal,” explained coach Marlon Maro.
With a loss beckoning, midfielder Annis turned the game around. She shot past Nepalese stopper Anjila Tumbapo Subba with a fine strike in the 89th minute.
Things then escalated from there as substitute attacker Wilson managed to also put the ball at the back of the net in the first minute of stoppage time.
It was Annis’ first-ever goal for the Philippines, while it was Wilson’s third strike for the country. She scored a goal each in the 2013 and 2016 editions of the AFF Women’s Championship.
“In the second half, our adjustment was we’re putting four forwards, three attacking midfielders, one defensive midfielder, and two central defenders because Nepal just sent one forward up front. So by doing that, we’re able to score two goals in the last five minutes,” furthered Maro.
Those clutch goals overturned the unfortunate setback faced by the Filipinas early in the match. Earlier, their Nepalese counterparts found a way to draw first blood.
Bimala Chaudhary, who plays as a forward for former Davao Aguilas mentor Gary Phillips’ side, headed the ball past goalkeeper Inna Palacios for the opener nine minutes into the match.
The Philippines’ winning start in its Group F campaign gives it 3 points. A win against Hong Kong next week could secure a ticket to the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.
The Philippines hopes to secure a spot in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup when it faces Hong Kong on Friday at 6:00 PM (Manila time) in the same venue.
Philippines XI: Palacios (GK, C), Shelton, Long, Annis, McDaniel, Miclat, Bugay, Castaneda, Tomanon, Harrison, Lepage.
Nepal XI: Puja Rana, Amrita Jaishi, Hira Kumari Bhujel, Renuta Nagarkote ©, Saru Limbu, Sabita Rana Magar, Gita Rana, Preeti Rai, Anjila Tumbapo Subba (GK), Bimala Chaudhary, Manjali Kumari.