On the jaws of a humiliating defeat in their first appearance since the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, the Philippine Women’s National Football Team crammed their way up in the very last minutes to earn a much needed win against Nepal, 2-1, Saturday, September 18, 2021, at the Jar Stadium in sunny Tashkent in the opening game of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup qualifiers Group F.
Attacking midfielder Tahnai Annis scored her first international goal while the returning Camille Wilson scored her first since 2016—all in the opening minutes—as the Malditas are now on the cusp of a second straight Asia Cup appearance.
Annis, the oldest player in the squad at 32, tied the game at the 89th minute with a center box strike off a right-wing pass from debutante forward Chandler McDaniel.
At the second minute of injury time, the returning Wilson caught a Camille Rodriguez cross from the left wing that was intended for McDaniel, netting an uncontested strike also from the center box.
Despite dominating the game in terms of possessions and attacks, the Malditas played in a precarious situation for almost the entire game, as Nepal exploited a huge hole in the Philippine defense, as a long ball from Saru Limbu found an open Bimala Chaudhary, who sank a looping header past goalkeeper Inna Palacios at the tenth minute.
The 68th-ranked Malditas had several chances at goal but the world number 101 Nepal was always saved by their star keeper Anjila Subba.
McDaniel, for instance, had a powerful long strike at the first half injury time but the attack was saved by Subba.
Annis, McDaniel, and reserve attacker Alisha del Campo had shots on goal in the second half but all of these were caught by Nepalese goalie.
The Malditas will next face a tougher opponent in Hong Kong next Friday and another win will book them a ticket to the 2022 Asian Cup in India.
Photo from The Philippine Football Federation Facebook page