One of the greatest feelings while playing football is scoring the winning goal for your team in the dying moments of a game, especially one that has so many ramifications.
For Camille Wilson, she almost single-handedly brought the Philippine Women’s National Football Team one foot into the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India. Her goal in stoppage time carried the country to a 2-1 victory over Nepal in its first Group F qualifier, Saturday evening (Manila time).
“So amazing,” expressed the 25-year-old midfielder out of West Covina, California. “So good to be back playing with the team; being able to represent the country, represent this team, represent my family.
“It’s truly an amazing opportunity for myself. I’m just happy to be here celebrating our win against Nepal.”
The Filipinas looked down and out before the game entered its final five minutes. Nepalese forward Bimala Chaudhary drew first blood in the match and Marlon Maro’s wards struggled to break down their opponents, who worked hard to defend their lead.
Things changed when Tahnai Annis scored the leveler at the 90th minute, which propelled the Filipinas to get that all-important winning goal as failure to win would have set their dream of qualifying for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup into disarray.
With the game at a 1-1 stalemate, a cross from Ateneo alumna Cam Rodriguez at the left flank somehow found its way towards the rushing Wilson. She then finished calmly to seal the victory for the Philippines.
It capped off an amazing journey so far for the Marin Catholic High School product after a difficult few months.
“Back in California, during our closed camp, I got a hamstring injury.
“It was tough getting back into shape, getting back playing on the team. Slowly but surely, I became better, and being on the pitch feels so good,” said the 5-foot-4 Fil-American.
“It was a truly amazing feeling and getting the game-winning goal was unbelievable. I gotta give credit to the whole team. We all played as a team. We all played hard until the final minute,” she continued.
The sound of the final whistle provoked strong emotions from Wilson and her teammates. There was elation at the way they dug deep to find a winner; and relief that their goal of qualifying for the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup. Also, the bigger ambition of entering the 2022 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is still alive.
The Filipinas have one more game left in this qualifying round, against Hong Kong next week. With confidence for Wilson and her teammates at an all-time high after tonight’s dramatics, it is up to them to translate that into another win. Still, rest assured that they will go all out to do.