Filipina booters advance despite loss to Taiwan

Negrense Charisa Lemoran (16) and Kyla Inquig of the Philippines attempt to snatch the ball from a Chinese Taipei player. PHOTO COURTESY OF TAJIKISTAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION

MANILA – The Philippines women’s football team suffered a harrowing 0-5 loss to Chinese Taipei in the 2020 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament first round in Hisor, Tajikistan.

Still the Filipinas were moving on to the second round of the competition after finishing on second place in the group with 9 points (three wins and a loss).

The Philippines struggled to find a decent attempt against the swarming defense of Chinese Taipei while the latter managed to catch the Filipinas off guard to convert two first-half goals Tuesday at the Hisor Central Stadium.

At the onset of the second half the Philippines had a golden opportunity to enter the scoring column but Sara Castañeda failed to connect the penalty kick after a foul by the opponent.

Tensions arose after that when Kyla Inquing of the Philippines got into a fistfight with a Chinese Taipei player. They were removed from the field.

Chinese Taipei remained relentless, converting three more goals against the tentative defense of the Philippines to solidify its hold of the top spot in the group with four wins in as many games.

It has yet to be determined where and which country the Philippines will play in the next round of the qualifiers. Countries such as Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Jordan were in the mix for the upcoming phase.

Twelve countries will participate in the next phase, where they will be placed in three groups of four. The top team of each group qualifies for the third round, where heavyweights such as Thailand and Australia will join the fray./PN


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