A half-strength Philippines side was still a handful for Singapore as they beat the latter 4-0 in their final game of Group A to confirm their place in the semifinals of the AFF Women’s Championship 2019 here at the Institute of Physical Education.
Still-in-the-running Malaysia – currently third in Group A – will need to beat leaders Thailand by at least 13 goals in the second game if they harbor any intention of making the semifinals this year.
“We rested several players today so as to make sure that they have enough rest for the semifinal match against Vietnam,” said Philippines head coach Marnelli Dimzon. “But today the players did enough to pick up the full points.”
With Singapore already out of contention following three straight losses, the concession of an early goal just 42 seconds in with a fine finish from Alisha Del Campo following a long ball from deep was not the start they would have wanted.
And while they conceded the second goal just six minutes later with Quinley Quezada making good on the short pass from Hazel Lustan, the Singapore girls then tightened up the defence as Beatrice Tan worked doubly hard in between the sticks to make sure that the score stood all the way until few seconds left of the first half.
With Dionesa Tolentin’s effort blocked by Beatrice, the waiting Del Campo had the easiest of headers for Philippines’s third goal of the game.
Just four minutes after the restart, the Philippines added their fourth goal of the game with Del Campo, this time punishing a mix up in the Singapore backline.
The pace of the match stayed all the way for much of the second half as while the Philippines tried to add to the scoreline, the Singapore girls just stood their ground to deny them.
And in the end, the four goals were enough to send the Philippines to the next round.