By Adrian Stewart Co
The Philippine women’s football team scored two goals in the dying moments to pull off a come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Nepal in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers on Saturday at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Tahnai Annis drilled the equalizer for the Malditas at the 89th minute mark before Camille Wilson completed the Philippines’ fightback with her own conversion a minute later.
Prior to their quest to reach the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup tournament proper, the national women’s football team was coming off a lengthy training camp in California last month.
“The new players who were introduced in this game played very well for us. They were instrumental in initiating our first goal in the match,” Philippine team head coach Marlon Maro said.
The 63rd ranked Malditas surrendered an early goal to the 101st seeded Nepal with Bimala Chaudhary scoring on a header past the defense of Philippines’ goalkeeper Inna Palacios at the ninth minute.
More opportunities came the way of the Malditas to tie the score but could not penetrate through the defense of Nepal until Annis turned the game around when she shot past Nepalese stopper Anjila Tumbapo Subba with a fine strike at the 89th minute.
It was then followed by Wilson putting the ball at the back of the net in the first minute of stoppage time from a pass by Chandler McDaniel to put the national women’s football team on top, 2-1.
For Annis, this was her first-ever goal for the Malditas, while it was Wilson’s third conversion while wearing the country’s tri-colors after scoring twice in the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship.
“In the second half, our adjustment was we’re putting four forwards, three attacking midfielders, one defensive midfielder and two central defenders because Nepal just sent one forward up front so by doing that we’re able to score two goals in the last five minutes,” Maro said.
With the victory, the Malditas notched the top spot in Group F with three points and will formalize its entry into the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India if they beat Hong Kong on Friday./ASC, WDJ