Philippines end long wait, beat Thailand

Mumbai: Philippines defeated Thailand 1-0 to get their AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 Group B campaign off to a flying start here on Friday.

Chandler McDaniel scored the winner in the 81st minute as Philippines boosted their hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals, while Thailand were left to rue their missed chances.

Philippines, who came into the tie having not beaten Thailand in 12 previous attempts, started on the front foot but soon found themselves defending as the match progressed.

Thailand, who were the AFC Women’s Asian Cup winners in 1983, got into the action in the second minute when Saowalak Pengngam set up Miranda Nild but the forward’s left footed shot from inside the box was deflected.

Orapin Waenngoen then tried her luck from distance off Phonphirun Philawan’s lay off, but her shot failed to test Philippines’ goalkeeper Olivia Davies-McDaniel.

Philippines thought they had taken the lead when Katrina Guillou smashed the ball into the back of the net against the run off play, but Thailand custodian Waraporn Boonsing breathed a sigh of relief after the goal was ruled out.

Sensing the game slipping from their hands, Thailand increased the intensity of their attacks and came close to scoring in the 14th minute when Nipawan Panyosuk forced a save from Davies-McDaniel.

Philippines tried to power their way through in the 35th minute with Tahnai Annis sending a cross to Quinley Quezada, whose shot from 35 yards was saved by Davies-McDaniel.

Both teams continued to toil in front of goal as the score remained 0-0 going into the break.

Thailand could have found the back of the net at the start of the second half when Saowalak Pengngam teed-up Nutwadee Pram-nak nicely at the edge of the area but the midfielder’s effort was easily saved by Davies-McDaniel.

Despite being reduced to counter-attacks, Philippines had two clear-cut chances just after the hour mark with Quinley Quezada and McDaniel both just failing to find the target from inside the box.

However, Philippines finally broke the deadlock through McDaniel in the 81st minute when the forward’s drive from 20 yards saw Boonsing fail to hold on to the ball as it trickled across the goal line.

Philippines will be aiming to secure their second win in a row when they face Australia on January 24, while Thailand will meet Indonesia.

UNI PN

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