It was a fantastic night for the Philippines at the SEA Games 2019 when both their men and women’s team beat Malaysia to inspire them to a place in the semifinals of the meet.
While the Philippines women were expected to beat their Malaysian counterparts, the men had to come back from their loss to Myanmar in the previous match and that too playing against the losing finalist from two years ago.
But playing at home at the Rizal Memorial Stadium gave the Philippines just the confidence they needed as they pressed the scrappy Malaysians right from the onset in front of the biggest crowd yet to date.
Several misses later, the Philippines grew in confidence in the second half and in the 72nd minute, a corner from captain Stephan Shrock was pushed into goal by lanky defender Amani Aguinaldo. The Philippines up 1-0.
The Malaysians tried hard to get back into the game but they just lacked that lost touch to be effective.
After the third matchday in Group A, Myanmar lead the standings with seven points while the Philippines moved up to third with four points – the same as second placed Cambodia.
Malaysia are fourth with one point as Timor Leste brought up the rear.
On the other hand in Group A of women’s football tie at the Binan Football Stadium, Philippines would find the Malaysian girls tough to crack where they needed until the 25th minute before Sarina Bolden could carved out the first goal of the game.
Bolden went on to complete a hat trick off further goals in the 42nd and 45th minute as Alisha Del Campo (35th) and Eva Madarang (90th) added the others.
The 6-0 win over Malaysia ensured the Philippines’ girls their place in the semifinals this year.
In an earlier match at the same venue, defending champions Vietnam romped into the semifinals from Group B after thrashing Indonesia 6-0.
Three players were on the double – Nguyen Thi Tuyet Dung in the 9th and 84th minute, Nguyen Thi Van (14th and 19th minute) and then Huynh Nhu (50th and 60th).
In the afternoon tie at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Myanmar picked up their second full points with a 6-1 beating of Timor Leste.
Aung Kaung Mann gave Myanmar the lead after ten minutes as Htet Pyo Wai then dribbled past two defenders to lob over Timor goalkeeper in the 36th minute to give them a 2-0 lead.
A searching pass from the centre four minutes later, saw Timor’s Ximenes Mesquita picking up in between two defenders to pull a goal back for the score to stand at 2-1 at the half.
But Hlaing Bo Bo’s finish just after eight minutes from the second whistle put Myanmar in comfortable mode for the win and their place at the top of the standings.