Filipinas U-17 beat Vietnam, clinch spot in AFC Asian Cup
MANILA, Philippines–The Philippines secured a place in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-17 Women’s Asian Cup for the first time after defeating host Vietnam, 1-0, in the final match of the second round qualifiers on Sunday in Hanoi.
Isabella Preston’s goal in the second half of the game held at Vietnam Youth Football Training Center was enough for the Filipinas U-17 to secure the final spot to the continental tournament which will be hosted next year by Indonesia.
Defending champion Japan, which ruled the 2019 edition, North Korea, China, South Korea, Thailand, Australia and Indonesia are the other countries that qualified for the Asian Cup.
Preston produced the eventual winner in the 56th minute after converting a long free kick which Vietnamese goalkeeper Le Thi Thu couldn’t deflect, sparking celebrations among coach Sinisha Cohadzic’s squad.
In winning the last two matches, the Philippines claimed the second spot in Group B with six points, behind Australia.
Australia defeated the Philippines, 6-2, in the first game of both teams in the second round.
A 3-1 win over Bangladesh and Vietnam’s 2-1 loss to Australia on Friday gave the Filipinas U-17 a chance to claim the Asian Cup berth.
The team began its Asian Cup quest last April when it defeated Guam and Lebanon in the first round under the tutelage of then Filipinas senior team mentor Alen Stajcic.
Nina Mathelus scored seven goals in the two-round qualification, including three in the second round.