Three players, led by captain Tahnai Annis, bagged a brace as the Philippines drubbed Fiji, 7-,2, last Thursday in the first of two friendly matches between the two countries at the Western Sydney Wanderers field in Sydney, Australia.
Quinley Quezada, who celebrated her 25th birthday Thursday, and Anicka Castañeda also scored twice for the Filipinas, who grabbed another goal courtesy of Dominique Randle in the first half.
The match was played in wet conditions, but the Filipinas, playing for the first time since the AFC Women’s Asian Cup last February in India, coped well and started the game on the frontfoot.
It only took 13 minutes for Quezada to open the scoring, firing into the near post after a through ball from Castañeda.
Quezada got her second goal in the 79th minute, turning and finding the bottom corner after getting on the end of Alisha Del Campo’s ball in the middle.
Castañeda headed home the Filipinas’ second in the 17th minute off a fine cross from Malea Cesar on the right flank. Randle scored from close range after the Fijians failed to clear a set piece, while Annis delivered a quickfire double just before halftime.
Fiji grabbed a goal early in the second half, and added another in the 63rd minute, before Quezada punctuated the victory with a clinical finish.
“It was a tough match in tough conditions,” said team manager Jefferson Cheng. “I’m happy for the team for the good result. We’ll keep working hard.”
Cheng expressed gratitude to the Filipino community in Western Sydney for their support despite the rainy weather.
“Thank you to the Filipino community here in Western Sydney who braved the rain and also our supporters at home and around the world who enjoyed the live stream to see our Filipinas in their first outing after the Asian Cup and World Cup Qualification,” Cheng said.
The Filipinas face Fiji again on Monday as part of their buildup for the Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam.
Photo from Skip Tan