The Philippines’ U14 Girls Team continued with their winning streak as they toppled Group B’s top 2 team Myanmar during the semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U14 Girls Regional Championship for Southeast Asia after on Saturday, June 14, 2014 at the Thong Nhat Stadium, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.
As expected by Coach Dimzon, Myanmar played a fast and physical game, scoring the opening goal on the 9th minute. Philippine striker Itsuko Bacatan however leveled the game with an equalizer on the 14th minute. After a long deadlock until past the first half, Joyce Samacio claimed her 3rd and goal in the tournament on the 66th minute that decided the fate of the team.
“Until now we are still celebrating our win against Myanmar in the semi-finals. Credit goes to all the players for this achievement. They were hungry to be in the finals and they were able to handle the pressure that I gave them. The result of the game only shows who really wants to win the game. It was about mental toughness, so the first one that gives up loses,” said Head Coach Let Dimzon.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) Officials are elated with their feat. “This is very timely, given that football is right now the center of attention worldwide with the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Our U14 Girls’ excellent performance is an inspiring story that we can share to the global celebration of the sport. If the girls win the finals, which we wish they do, then they will make history that their country will be truly proud of,” said PFF President Mariano Araneta.
News about the team’s achievement have been fast spreading with a growing number of netizens and media outfits posting and sharing updates about their impressive victories both on the world wide web and social networks.
PFF General Secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes expressed confidence in the team’s performance in the finals. “These are a select group of highly talented girls. I’ve seen them in action during their training and I am confident that they will put up a good fight in the finals. Starting as underdogs in the tournament, they have now emerged as the top contenders. We can see their determination to win, and I believe they have much more to give, especially in this important match,” he said.
The Philippines U14 Girls participated in the tournament with 5 weeks preparation following scouting sessions from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Despite that, they managed to win all matches in the group stage against Singapore (6-0), defending Champions Vietnam (1-0), Cambodia (5-0) and Group B’s top 2 team Myanmar (2-1) in the semi-finals.
The team is coached by Let Dimzon, who was also responsible for the Championship title of the Far Easter University (FEU) Women’s Varsity Team in the UAAP. She is assisted by Coaches Joyce Landagan and Melissa Marquez, and Physiotherapist Katherine Soriano. The team’s full roster can be found here: U14 Girls Team