MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines continued to hope to reach the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Women’s Asian Cup after a 3-1 win over Bangladesh in the second round of the qualifying stage held in Hanoi, Vietnam on Friday.
Nina Mathelus continued to score before a late score from Jelena Soon sealed the Filipinas U-17 victory, turning their final group match against hosts Vietnam on Sunday into a virtual knockout for the final Asian Cup match.
Both teams have three points each heading into their match at 7:00 PM local time (8:00 PM Manila time) at the Vietnam Youth Football Training Center.
Coached by senior team assistant Sinisha Cohadzic, the Filipinas U-17 will join seven others in next year’s continental tournament to be hosted by Indonesia.
“Winning is necessary. We recover, prepare, analyze and DARE TO DREAM of the first Asian Cup qualification at junior football level,” Cohadzic posted on X, the social media app formerly known as Twitter.
The Philippines U-17 dropped their opening Group B assignment against Australia 6-2 last Wednesday after taking an early two-goal lead thanks to Mathelus.
Isabella Preston put the Philippines ahead three minutes after kick-off, but it took only seconds for Bangladesh to equalize behind Mst Sagorika.
Mathelus scored her third goal of the second round, and seventh for the duration of the qualifying phase in the 32nd as the Philippines U-17 were able to take control.
A third goal came from Soon five minutes into second half stoppage time to prevent any chance for Bangladesh to steal a point.