Filipinas yield first goal but rally in 2nd half behind Bolden hat trick
The Philippines will now shift its focus on the big matches at hand after securing a spot in the semifinals of the Asean Football Federation Women’s Championship on Sunday.
But the 4-1 victory over Indonesia before 1,474 fans at Rizal Memorial Stadium didn’t come without some nervous moments after a goalkeeping howler put the Filipinas behind at halftime.
Coach Alen Stajcic, however, was pleased to see his team respond in the final 45 minutes, with Sarina Bolden’s hat trick turning the contest into another convincing scoreline for the host nation.
With a fourth win in four matches and 12 points to remain on top of Group A, Stajcic’s side goes into the most exciting part of the competition with a tough opponent in Thailand wrapping up the Philippine schedule.
Resilience is a quality Stajcic and Co. hope to show once that match rolls on.
“I’m just happy that we could come back from behind,” Stajcic said. “It’s an important quality within the team to remain calm and composed because football’s not always going to go your way. For us to be able to come out 4-1 is a good sign for us.”
Favored to cruise to victory, the Filipinas found themselves behind in the 37th minute when a miscue by Inna Palacios off a back pass by Chantelle Maniti allowed Indonesia’s Carla Bio Pattinasarany to score the opener.
After her efforts, Bolden quickly deflected credit to her teammates. “[Being] at home with the national team so it is pretty special. I take great pride in it. But I couldn’t do it alone but because of the nice assists that were given to me.”
It was a stunning moment for the home side, especially after producing its three previous wins by a combined margin of 12-0, including 7-0 and 4-0 scorelines against Singapore and Malaysia.
“I thought they (Indonesia) were the better team in the first half and they deserve their lead,” Stajcic admitted.
It was a reality check the Filipinas needed by halftime, and it didn’t take long for them to draw level early in the second half when an unmarked Tahnai Annis scored from Sofia Harrison’s cross.
Then Bolden put on a show before a boisterous audience when she delivered the go-ahead score with a quick right-footed shot off Sara Eggesvik’s pass in the 58th.
Two more goals in the 65th and 67th gave the striker her second career three-goal game in a national team shirt, the first since a game against Malaysia in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Biñan, Laguna.
“It’s good to show a lot of resilience and character and come back in the end with a win,” said the Australian mentor.
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