Thailand’s women’s football team claimed a 3-0 victory over the Philippines in the semifinals of the 31st SEA Games on Wednesday, which occurred at Cam Pha, Vietnam.
The Malditas lost to Chaba Kaew
The Philippine national team arrived in the competition with a goal of bagging at least a silver medal as they flaunted their skills in the beginning of the game. The all-women’s football squad were confident enough in their skills and strategies and it showed in the first half of the match.
Team manager Alen Stajcic presented his formidable first eleven, with team captain Sarina Bolden in tandem with compatriot Quinley Quezada, who is also a star player in Japan WE League. The pair became the primary provider of offense as well as defense of the rest of the team.
Although, despite the strong lineup of the Philippine team, Thailand equalled their energy and eventually dominated the game. Thailand put pressure on the Filipinas which led them to make several mistakes, the move resulted in the Thais scoring a goal during the 21st minute.
If we look at the history of the two teams, the Malditas defeated Chaba Kaew in the group stages of the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year which set up their qualification for the ฟุตบอลโลก 2022. It is no surprise that the previous defeat to the Philippines prompted the Thais to avenge their loss in this semis match.
Though, in the final ten minutes of the first half, it was the Philippines women’s team who elevated their game a little bit as they sought for the equalizer. Sarina Bolden provided crosses from the left wing to team captain Tahnai Annis, resulting in amazing ball movements. Thailand were eager to break through so they held on for a low 1-0 lead during the break.
It is expected that the strong lead of the Filipinas during the first half of the match will bleed into the second half. However, Thailand instantly put the Philippines at gunpoint using a second half goal in the early minutes of the game. This has left the Philippines with a huge hurdle to pass through.
Thailand’s Teerasil Dangda has long been an oppressor of Team Philippines ever since the Suzuki Cup. However, right now, it was her sister Taneekarn Dangda who guarded against Hali Long and managed to pass through, which left Philippine goalie Olivia McDaniel with no chance to defend the goal.
After that, Thailand did not waste any time, becoming stronger by the minute, eventually they left the Philippines no chance to fight back and became victorious.
According to coach Alen Stajcic, they were caught off guard, he also commented honestly on the performance of his team.
“There is no doubt that Thailand is a formidable team. Their passing, movement and shooting abilities are much better and it was amazing. We made a mistake of not giving our best tonight, with our poor passes. What went down tonight was an indicator that we weren’t prepared for a strong contender like Thailand,” said Stajcic.
The coach admitted that their preparations for the event was poor and there is no excuse for the failure. He also pointed out that having to play with a strong opponent inspired them to do better the next time. Although, there is still hope for the Philippine team as there are still a few matches left with Myanmar and host nation Vietnam.
Compared to their more experienced rivals, the Malditas are still a relatively new team so it is understandable if they are still not bagging any medal yet. Despite the poor performance on Wednesday, it is still worth celebrating that the team qualified for next year’s World Cup.