Sarina Bolden delivers as Filipinas beat Chinese Taipei in Olympic Qualifiers
MANILA, Philippines–Sarina Bolden scored twice as the Philippines came back from a goal down to defeat Chinese Taipei, 4-1, to begin its second round campaign in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Thursday in Perth, Australia.
Bolden came through with an equalizer off a penalty to negate Chinese Taipei’s opener early in the second half before following up Katrina Guillou’s go-ahead goal by completing a brace that left no doubt that the Filipinas would get the full three points at Perth Rectangular Stadium.
A late goal from substitute Chandler McDaniel could turn out to be a vital one of coach Mark Torcaso’s side in the Philippines’ bid to reach the final phase of the qualification for next year’s Paris Olympics either as Group A winner or the best second place team among the three groups.
The Filipinas face host Australia at the larger Optus Stadium on Sunday.
It was the first time that the Filipinas faced Chinese Taipei since taking the historic Women’s World Cup berth during their quarterfinal match in the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup in India.
Guillou could have put the Philippines ahead past the hour mark but a goal she scored off a short pass by Bolden was disallowed after the offside flag was raised.
Chinese Taipei would go ahead after halftime when Hsu Yi Yun scored past goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel, two minutes into the rest.
But the deficit was shortlived as Meryll Serrano was fouled inside the box after a tackle by a Taiwanese defender, prompting Bolden to calmly convert the tying goal in the 54th.
The Philippines would eventually go in front for good, with Guillou avoiding another offside by firing a right-footed attempt off a pass from Tahnai Annis in the 61st.
A close call came late in the second half when a Chinese Taipei had a long attempt rattle the far post, but any hopes by the opposition ended when Bolden made it 3-1 from a Quinley Quezada assist in the 83rd for a record-extending 28th goal for the star striker.
Chandler McDaniel added a fourth for the Philippines with a one-touch off Angie Beard’s pass that not only sealed the deal, but also raised the team’s goal differential after the first matchday.