PH football team win first-ever AFF Women’s Championship title

THE Philippines achieved another historic feat in 2022 after winning their first-ever Asian Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship title since the tournament’s inception in 2004.

The Philippines are now the queens of Southeast Asian football with an impressive 3-0 victory over perennial contenders Thailand in front of a huge crowd of 8,257 fans at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

“This victory is really exciting. We climbed a small hill tonight; we have conquered Southeast Asia but I know there are big mountains ahead of us. It’s a big hill to climb and bigger challenges lie ahead,” Philippines head coach Alen Stajcic said in a report on the official AFF website.

The Philippines did the unthinkable and earned their first-ever World Cup appearance after qualifying earlier this year after finishing fourth in the joint 2023 World Cup and Asian Cup qualifiers. AFC in February. The team also won bronze at the Southeast Asian Games in May.

Four-time AFF Women’s Championship title holders Thailand entered the game as the only undefeated team in the tournament. Thailand beat the Philippines, 1-0, in the group stage.

Although Thailand had the momentum ahead of the match, the Philippines drew their confidence from a huge home crowd and a 4-0 defeat of defending champions Vietnam in the semi-finals.

Centre-back Jessika Cowart scored the Philippines’ first goal in the seventh minute with a header from skipper Tahnai Annis’ corner.

Striker Katrina Guillou added another with a shot through the middle in the 19th minute.

Striker Sarina Bolden, the tournament’s top scorer, put the nail in the coffin with an 88th-minute header from a Jacklyn Sawicki corner.

In contrast, Myanmar finished third after a 4-3 win over Vietnam.

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