By ADRIAN STEWART CO
Filipinas failed to sustain their early lead as they bowed to South Korea, 5-1, in the 19th Asian Games women’s football group stage at the Wenzhou Sports Centre Stadium in China on Monday night, September 25.
The Philippine women’s football team opened the game with an eighth-minute stunner as Sarina Bolden converted a powerful right-footed shot inside the penalty box for a 1-0 advantage.
But Bolden’s connection seemed to have served as the fire in South Korea’s belly as Garam Chun smashed in a goal in the 12th minute to tie the score at 1-1 before they took a 2-1 edge with Hwayeon Son’s header just before the halftime break.
The goal spree continued for South Korea in the second half as Ji Soyun drilled a penalty in the 52nd minute, followed by back-to-back conversions from Son to complete her hat-trick.
“We experienced change and we just have to adjust,” Filipinas team captain Hali Long said, pertaining to new head coach Mark Toscano.
“It’s a new system. To go forward, we just have to go backward,” he added.
The Philippine women’s football team will look to bounce back against Myanmar on Thursday evening, September 28, to keep their hopes of reaching the quarterfinals alive if they become one of the three best second place teams.
“I think we still have a really good chance of being the second best in the group. We have a tough game against Myanmar [on Thursday]. We just have to regroup,” Filipinas’ Sara Eggesvik said.
Meanwhile, wushu athlete Jones Inso delivered the country’s second medal when he settled for bronze in the men’s taijiquan-taijijian all-around event on Monday afternoon at the XSG Sports Centre in Hangzhou.
The 26-year-old Inso finished with a total of 19.486 points — 9.746 points in the taijiquan event and 9.470 in the taijijian discipline — behind gold medal winner Gao Haonan of China and Hui Tak Yan of Hong Kong.
Filipina skateboarder Margielyn Didal moved closer to defending her Asiad gold medal after earning qualification for the Women’s Skateboarding Street Event finals yesterday morning.
Didal, the reigning Asiad gold medal winner, earned qualification to the finals on Wednesday, September 27, after placing sixth in the qualification round with 41.53 points.
In taekwondo, Baby Jessica Canabal moved on to the quarterfinals of the women’s -53 kilogram event after defeating Japan’s Yusuho Katoh via final score in their round-of-16 match.
Meanwhile, Joseph Chua was not as fortunate as he was defeated by Nur Gazez of Kazakhstan in the men’s taekwondo -50kg round-of-16 game.
Team Philippines also suffered two more casualties in judo, with Carl Dave Aseneta (men’s -100kg) and Dylwynn Keith Gimena (women’s -78kg) dropping their round-of-16 games.
Filipina beach volleyball tandem Genesa Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez ended their campaign at the 19th Asian Games after losing to the Japanese tandem of Ishii Miki and Mizoe Sayaka in the quarterfinals, 21-16, 21-11, on Monday evening.
With Eslapor and Rodriguez’s exit, all four Philippine beach volleyball teams — women’s Khylem Harl Progella and Grydelle Joanice Matibag; and men’s Alnakran Abdilla and Jaron Requinton, and James Buytrago and Jude Garcia — are out of medal contention./ASC, WDJ