HANOI — The Philippine women’s national football team fashioned out a strong start to their 31st Southeast Asian Games campaign with a 5-0 rout of Cambodia in their Group A preliminaries clash at the Cam Pha Stadium in Quang Ninh, Vietnam on Monday.
After a slow start in the opening 45 minutes, the Filipinas ramped up the offense in the second half — netting four goals in a span of 16 minutes.
The Philippine booters had a hard time cracking the defense of Cambodia at first, with all 11 players for the Cambodian side on their part of the pitch.
Though dominating in terms of ball possession, it was hard for the Filipinas to get through.
The first real chance for the Filipinas came early when Hali Long’s header off a corner nearly found the back of the net before a defender’s foot managed to block the ball in the ninth minute.
But 27 minutes of play has passed before a goal was scored, with Isabella Flanigan scoring from outside the box.
Only in the 64th minute did the Philippines’ lead get doubled with Sarina Bolden heading it in from a corner kick.
Three minutes later, Eva Madarang was able to take advantage of a miscue by the Cambodian goalkeeper, who was unable to gather the ball properly in her hands, and the Filipinas took the 3-nil lead.
With the lead firmly in their hands, the Filipinas continued to pressure the opponent’s defense and gained multiple corner kicks.
Quinley Quezada scored a corner header in the 76th minute, and Anicka Castaneda added a goal of her own after a set piece four minutes later to reach the final score.
The Philippines thus take all three points and bring momentum to their clash against hosts and defending champions Vietnam on Wednesday, May 11.
The women’s football teams of the Philippines and Vietnam are both going to make their debuts in the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year. PHILSTAR