The Philippines Girls Under-16 Team clinched their place to the second round of the AFC U16 Women’s Championship 2019 Qualifiers as one of the best second placed teams despite a 1-5 loss to Myanmar, last Sunday 23 September 2018 at the Halchowk Stadium in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Mikaela Villacin scored for the Philippines in the 62nd minute. The forward, who hails from Cadiz City, was sent free by a through pass and before slotting it in to the back of the net.
The Philippines finished Group E in second place with six points having won their matches over Nepal (4-0) and Malaysia (1-0).
Head coach Joyce Landagan and assistant coaches Marielle Benitez and Eleonora Dillera were over the moon after securing qualification to the second round. The Philippines is one of the three best second placed teams at the end of the group stage and will join China PR, Laos, IR Iran, Australia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Vietnam in the next round.
“We’re very happy that we qualified, it was a surreal feeling especially as Myanmar and Malaysia were the favorites to go through, but the players showed heart and worked their way to win their matches,” said Landagan. “It’s fulfilling and I’m happy because in the span of two weeks, we were successful in molding them into a team, a sisterhood and that was the deciding factor on the pitch.”
“We’re really proud of how this team performed in the tournament,” said Benitez, who served as head coach in the AFF U16 Girls’ Championship 2018 last May. “We’re very happy that we made it through to the next round and are already excited to continue our preparation for next year.”
“Youth football is going in the right direction,” added Dillera. “We are so proud of what the team has achieved despite the obstacles. I think it is a well deserved win.”
PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes congratulated the team on a successful qualifying campaign in Nepal.
“We congratulate the Philippines Girls Under-16 Team for qualifying to the second round of the AFC U16 Women’s Championship 2019 Qualifiers as one of the best second placed teams,” said Gastanes. “The team showed grit, determination, and heart in all of their matches. We wish them the best of luck as they continue on to the next round.”
The second round of the qualifiers will be held on 23 February until 3 March 2019. The teams will be grouped into two groups of four with the group winners and runners up qualifying to the final round on September 2019.