Newly-crowned Filipinas football AFF Women’s Championship winners thanked Filipinos for their unwavering love and support that propelled them to clinch the country’s first-ever regional tournament title.
The Philippine women’s national football team did not disappoint the 8,257 fans who came to the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila as they hacked out a 3-0 shutout over arch-rival Thailand on Sunday night, July 17, 2022.
Filipino-American team captain Tahnai Annis, during the press conference held on July 18, said, “On behalf of all of us, I know that everyone is so honored to be able to have the opportunity to represent the country. We’re so happy that we could do it on home soil last night. It’s a very special thing to be able to play back in the Philippines and bring home the first trophy for the Philippines in women’s football.”
Annis said they could have not done it without their coaches headed by Alen Stajcic and the support of everyone in the country.
Filipinas football taking the next step
The Filipinas humbled Asian powerhouse Thailand, which earlier defeated them (1-0) in their group A stage. The latter finished on top with four wins and one draw.
The Filipinas showed much firepower to exact revenge against their group stage tormentors after booting out erstwhile defending champions Vietnam, 4-0, in the semifinal.
The feat was the Philippines’ first in any AFF-sanctioned meet, getting ahead of the Azkals, their male counterparts.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., on his Facebook page, shared a photo of the Filipinas with a caption: “Congratulations on this historic victory!”
The President earlier sent the team his good luck wishes via a video message, expressing his confidence that the team will win the championship.
He said, “Allow me to just send my best and strongest and most fervent good luck wishes to our women’s football team who have managed to reach the finals and are now vying for the championship of the ASEAN Football Federation Finals.”
President Marcos also underscored the importance of teamwork and unity.
“Talagang napakagaling ng Pinay at napakagaling ng Pinoy at nakita natin basta’t naman tayo’y may teamwork, tayo’y may pakisama sa isa’t-isa eh nakita naman umabot na kayo sa finals (The Pinay is really very good and the Pinoy is very good and we can see that as long as we have teamwork, we get along with each other and we can see that you have reached the finals),” he added.
Jessika Cowart started the ball rolling for the Filipinas in the eighth minute.
Women’s team rocks
The nationals continued to push forward and tighten their defense, denying the Thais’ attempts to score behind their formidable goalie Olivia McDaniel.
Katrina Guillou knocked in the country’s second goal in the 20th minute following several attempts that were foiled by the stiff Thai defense.
The host squad rode on the momentum of their first two goals as Sarina Bolden scored the third goal in the 90th minute, her eighth goal in the tournament, to complete the rousing win.
Filipinas won a bronze medal in the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Hanoi, Vietnam after qualifying for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.