World Cup-bound Filipinas defeated Myanmar in their bronze medal match last week at the 31st Southeast Asian Games held in Vietnam.
Vietnam emerged victorious over the host nation in the 31st instalment of the tournament.
Myanmar took the lead shortly after kick-off after a foul inside the box resulted in their early 1-0 lead. They were able to keep the Philippines at bay for the majority of the match, until Sarina Bolden netted a goal in the 73rd minute.
Carleigh Frilles helped deliver the equaliser after a crucial interception. The midfielder sent a clean pass in towards Bolden, who slotted the ball into the back of the net.
At the 76th minute mark, Quinley Quezada made her way forward to double the Filipinas’ lead. She completed the comeback following an assist from Bolden.
Quezada, Frilles and Bolden were all part of the Asian Games matches. Their success the tournament saw the Philippines qualify for their first-ever World Cup. They will compete in Australia and New Zealand next year.
The Filipinas narrowly missed out on the chance to battle for the gold medal. They were defeated in the semi-finals by 2019 Southeast Asian Games runners-up Thailand. Vietnam went on to beat Thailand for the title thanks to a narrow 1-0 win.
Head Coach Alen Stajcic said that this was all part of the learning journey considering that the team is new.
“We still have a long way to go and get to their level but tonight we showed we can compete with these three teams in Southeast Asia,” he said. “If we keep on improving, next time I’ll expect a better medal.”
This is also the Philippines’ first podium finish in women’s football since 1985, delivering their first medal in the SEA Games in 36 years.
There are exciting players to watch as the team is gearing towards the AFF Women’s Championship. The tournament will be held this his July on the home soil of the Filipinas.