Pinay booters stun Thais in AFC Asian Cup

Olmin Leyba - The Philippine Star
Pinay booters stun Thais in AFC Asian Cup
Tahnai Annis will be taking over the captain's armband for the crucial 2022 AFC Women's Asian Cup in India.

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines defied the odds and stunned long-time tormentor Thailand, 1-0, to boost its bid for the AFC Women’s Asian Cup knockout stages Friday night at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, India.

Chandler McDaniel struck nine minutes from time as the Pinay booters finally got one over the Thais after losing their 12 previous encounters and got a flying start in the FIFA Women’s World Cup-qualifying meet.

The breakthrough victory pushed the Filipinas to second spot in Group B with three points behind fellow opening-day victor Australia. The Matildas showed their might in a merciless 18-0 drubbing of Indonesia anchored on Sam Kerr’s five-goal spree.

“It’s a massive win. It definitely improves our chances of making the next round,” said coach Alen Stajcic, whose charges look to build on this as they eye results against the high-powered Matildas and lightweight Indonesians in the race for Top 2 and berths to the quarterfinals.

The ultimate goal is to reach the semifinals for outright slots to next year’s WWC in Australia and New Zealand or at least qualify via the repechage playoffs.

McDaniel fired a left-footed shot from outside the box that rolled past the slippery hands of Thai goalkeeper Waraporn Boonsing and into the line in the 81st minute to break a scoreless standoff.

The Filipinas’ defense led by McDaniel’s sister Olivia between the sticks and Hali Long at the back held off the Thais’ late attempts at an equalizer.

“It’s a big weight off the shoulders of the players who have been with this team for a long time,” said Stajcic, whose squad can nail a quarters ticket with an upset versus his former team Australia tomorrow.


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