The Philippines advanced to the final of the AFC U-14 Girls Regional Championship (ASEAN) after downing speedily skilled Myanmar 2-1 in their semi-final match at Thong Nhat Stadium in Vietnam on Saturday.
It was Myanmar who scored first through Hnin Mya Thazin on nine minutes but Itsuko Maree Bacatan equalised on 14 minutes before the match went into the break.
The Filipinas took over the lead as Joyce Omboy Semacio scored on 66 minutes to clinch the 70+6-minute game.
The Philippines were vastly improved in this edition as they had finished in fourth position in last year’s inaugural edition also hosted by Vietnam.
“I put a lot of pressure on our players and they responded,” said Let Dimzon, head coach of the Philippine team. “They gave it their all.”
“Joyce goal in the 66th minute was the deciding factor,” added Coach Dimzon. “That goal broke Myanmar’s spirit.”
The win gave the Philippine U14 Girls team the chance to shoot for the championship cup against Thailand who beat Vietnam, 2-0, in the other semifinal match.
Championship game between Philippines and Thailand will be played today at 12:30pm (Manila Time) in Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Philippine U14 team is composed of Stacey Ann Arthur (Metro Manila), Jennifer Baroin (Makati City), Princess Beth Caparida (San Carlos City), Jan Reese Jumawan (Cebu City), Tenelyn Otom (San Carlos City), Lindsay Whaley (Subic Bay), Itsuko Bacatan (Cebu City), Patricia Erika Francisco (Davao City), Chloe Anne Hails (Metro Manila), Francesca Anne Marie Suerte (Iloilo City), Annika Velez (Manila), Glynnes Dela Cruz (Metro Manila), Joyce Semacio (Davao City), Arantxa Mari Trebol (Cebu), Yasmin May Elauria (Olongapo City), Alexandrea Gumilao (Cebu), Tejanee Marie Isulat (San Carlos City) Mikayla Grace Simons (Hong Kong).
The coaching staff includes Assistant Coach Joyce Landagan, Goalkeeper Coach Melissa Chris Marquez, and physiotherapist Katherine Anne Soriano.