Ignacius Carell Cruz

The Filipinas U17 team barged into the win column after clamping Bangladesh, 3-1, in the second round of the AFC U17 Women’s Asian Cup 2024 Qualifiers on Friday in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Photo Courtesy of AFC

A spirited Philippine team came out of the dugout firing with Isabella Preston giving the Filipinas an early lead, 1-nil, after capitalizing on a bad defensive clearance and goalkeeper error from Bangladesh.

Despite this, the tides were reversed quickly when the girls in red equalized after Mst Sagorika delivered a high-looping shot over the outstretched arms of Samantha Hughes.

The young Filipinas had a chance to regain the lead in the 31st minute when Bangladesh gave a penalty due to a handball from one of their defenders, however, Nina Mathelus who scored an outstanding brace last Wednesday was denied by the goalkeeper.

This did not cripple Mathelus’ confidence as she finally catapulted the girls in blue in front, 2-1, just after a minute from a penalty denial. A wonderful cross from Francesca Alberto gave the Bangladesh defensive line no chance of stopping the leading scorer of the Filipinas in the second round of the tournament.

Jelena Soon then secured the third net in the 95th minute for the Filipinas after heading home the last delivery of the game via captain Arianna Markey’s cross from the right corner. The match ended with the Filipinas punching a 3-1 win over the still winless Bangladesh.

The young Filipinas will look to climb up Group B on Sunday where they face Vietnam who bowed down to the Matildas U17 team, 2-1.

Edited by John James Girao