The Philippine women’s national football team ends its 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Asian Cup campaign, bowing to Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand, 1-3, Friday morning (Manila time) at the King Abdullah II Stadium in Amman.
As such, the Thais march on to their second consecutive Women’s World Cup appearance while the Malditas will vie for a wildcard entry if they win the battle for fifth place on Monday.
While the Malditas played aggressively on the first twenty minutes, having three shots on goal blocked by Waraporn Boonsing, Thailand capitalized on their length and superior defensive skills that frustrated the Filipina charge.
The Thais found their fortune when captain Tahnai Annis conceded a penalty kick as she was called with a hand ball by touching an attempt by Taneekarn Dangda.
Kanjana Sungngoen, Thailand’s top player, goaled on the ensuing penalty kick at the 28th minute.
All went downhill for the Malditas then as Thailand went on to dominate possession.
At the 53rd minute, Sungngoen scored her second goal of the match—her 32nd international goal—off a beautiful cross from Suchawadee Nildhamrong.
Nine minutes later, the Malditas encountered another misfortune as Jesse Shugg was called for a foul against the charging Nildhamrong, who appeared to have tripped on her own momentum.
Hence, Thailand was awarded a free kick a yard right off the penalty box, which was goaled by Silawan Intamee for a 3-0 score.
As the game approached its final seconds, the Malditas managed to score a consolation goal, with Shugg charging straight toward the goal off a pass from Maria Park, scoring at the third minute of injury time.
The loss replicated the Malditas last outing against the Thais at the 2017 Southeast Asian Games with the same 1-3 score.
The Malditas though have nothing to be ashamed of as they have surpassed their previous Asian Cup outing in 2003 in Thailand, where they gave up a whopping 26 goals, which include a 0-15 demolition by Japan.
In the 2018 edition, the Malditas gave up only seven goals and scored three—a -4 goal difference, its best since the 1999 Asian Cup in Iloilo.
The Malditas will still vie for the last World Cup ticket against the third placer of Group B, which could be Australia, Japan, or South Korea.