Malditas unable to sustain tight defense, fall to Matildas

By Justine Juyad and Mark Angelo Mañez

PHOTO: Victor Fraile/Power Sport Images

The Philippines failed to maintain their solid defense in the first half as they bowed down to Australia, 0-4, in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup 2022 in Navi Mumbai, India, on Monday.

The Pinay booters went for a strong start on the defensive end to keep the powerhouse Aussies scoreless in the first 45 minutes, but their gallant effort wasn't enough to pull off a shocker.

“I couldn’t be any prouder of the way they fought and the effort was outstanding against a really, truly world-class team," Malditas head coach Alen Stajcic said in a post-game interview.

The World's no. 64 team rejected 10 shots from Australia to keep them goalless in the first half, but also missed two shot attempts including one on target.

It wasn't long before the World's no.11 found gaps in Malditas's defense as captain Sam Kerr scored her 55th international goal in the 51st minute off a corner pass, followed by an own goal 2 minutes later and a goal from Emily van Egmond in the 67th minute.

Young Mathilda Mary Fowler scored an exclamation goal for Australia in the 88th minute to seal a convincing win and the solo top seat in Group B.

Coach Stajcic's Malditas will square off against Indonesia on Thursday at 10:00 pm as they try to boost their quarterfinal hopes with a win.


TIP-INS:

South Korea bagged its second straight victory earlier against Myanmar, 2-0, to stay on top of Group C at the Shri Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune.

Ji So-yun nailed her third goal of the tournament in the 84th minute, keeping their record clean in preparation against rivals Japan. Lee Geum-min, on the other hand, opened up the 2nd half with a brace from a header in the 50th minute.

Inside D.Y. Patil Stadium, Thailand bounced back from an upset loss against the Philippines as they toppled Indonesia, 4-0, to keep their knockout quarterfinal hopes alive.

Kanyanat Chetthabut flicked a hat trick as the Lady War Elephants vented their ire on the hapless Indonesians. 

Irravadee Makris made the finishing touches with her 76th-minute flicker after being left all alone.

In the nightcap, Japan kept their impeccable record clean as they blanked Vietnam, 3-0, and locked themselves up on Thursday's titanic showdown against East Asian rivals South Korea. 

Yui Narumiya hauled two more goals, bringing her tournament total to three for the Nadeshiko squad with Saki Kumagai adding a third.



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