HANGZHOU, China – An embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of South Korea last Monday is not the end of the road for the Philippine women’s soccer team in the 19th Asian Games here.
With an even 1-1 record after a 3-1 win over Hong Kong and the huge loss to the 2018 Asian Games bronze medalists, the Philippines still remain in contention.
‘May it be a coincidence pa naman. May Myanmar game pa tayo (There is still a chance. We have another match against Myanmar),” Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta said on Tuesday.
However, it’s not all in the Philippines’ hands if they want to progress even if they beat world number 51 Myanmar on Thursday at 7:30 PM at the Wenzhou Sports Center Stadium.
There are five groups of three teams each, and only the best team in each group will advance directly. The three other quarter-final slots go to the top three remaining teams.
Mariano said it remains a must-win match against Myanmar. Then the Philippines, number 44, will have to wait for the final results of the other groups.
“Ang importante talunin natin ang Myanmar (What is important is that we defeat Myanmar). Then we hope for the best that we end up in the top three of the remaining teams,” he added.
“If we beat Myanmar, we will have six points. Then we have a chance, depending on the goal difference of the other teams,” said Mariano.
The Philippines scored the first goal against the South Koreans in the eighth minute thanks to Sarina Bolden. But that turned out to be the last as the South Koreans took control of the match for the rest of the match.
The South Koreans equalized in the 12th minute and then piled on the goals in the 44th, 52nd, 56th and 70th minutes on their way to the runaway victory.
“Hindi masyado nag-click ‘yung defenders natin pero ganyan talaga ang laro (our defenders didn’t click as much as we would have liked). What is important is that we still have a chance,” Mariano said.