CAM PHA – The Philippine Women’s National Team leaned on a sensational second half comeback to defeat Myanmar, 2-1, in the Bronze Medal match of Women’s Football competition in the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Second half goals from Sarina Bolden and Quinley Quezada in the 73rd and 76th minutes gave the Philippines its first medal in football since 1985 despite going a goal down in the 23rd minute.
An unfortunate foul by Hali Long inside the box left the referee with no choice to point to the spot which was duly converted by Win Theigi Tun in the 23rd minute.
Known for their never-say-die attitude, the Filipinas found the equalizer with less than 20 minutes to play. Frilles intercepted the ball in the Myanmar half and sent a through ball to Bolden whose shot was initially parried by the goalkeeper, but found its way to the back of the net.
Quezada completed the comeback in the 76th minute. Bolden was once again involved in the run up to the goal, finding the Quezada free for the finish.
Head coach Alen Stajcic was elated with the team’s historic achievement. This was the country’s first medal in football wherein more than three teams competed in.
“It was the best performance we had in this tournament,” said Stajcic. “We showed amazing heart and spirit to the death to get the win. It was a performance to be proud of.”
Stajcic continued that this Bronze Medal victory is only the start for the Filipinas with the AFF Women’s Championship this July, and crucially the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 Australia & New Zealand on the horizon.
“We look this as our first medal in the SEA Games as a big achievement for the group. We are a new team playing at this level and competing against Vietnam, Thailand, and Myanmar so we’re going to have ups and downs,” added Stajcic. “We still have a long way to go and get to their level but tonight we showed we can compete with these 3 teams in Southeast Asia and if we keep on improving, next time I’ll expect a better medal.”
The Philippine Women’s National Team is supported by team manager Jefferson Cheng, the Philippine Sports Commission, and MVP Sports Foundation.