Members of the national women’s football team celebrate after defeating Nepal, 2-1, in their 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers match in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. (AFC photo)


Game Friday

(Tashkent, Uzbekistan)

6 p.m. — Philippines vs Hong Kong

The Philippines scored two late goals to stun Nepal, 2-1, and move closer to securing the top spot in Group F of the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers Saturday at the Jar Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Returnees Tahnai Annis and Camille Wilson came through for the Pinay booters in the dying moments to come away with the full three points after spending most of the match trying to cancel out the early goal of Nepal’s Bimala Chadhaury.

Coach Marlon Maro hailed the performances of his new players, particularly Chandler McDaniel who had a hand in both goals.

McDaniel’s cross from the right flank set up a right-footed goal by Annis, who last saw action in the 2018 Women’s Asian Cup in Amman, Jordan, to help the Philippines draw level right before stoppage time.

But the Philippines were far from done as substitute Camille Rodriguez delivered a cross to McDaniel, who flicked the ball while being marked by two defenders, that resulted in Wilson blasting the winner past Nepal goalkeeper Anija Tumbapo Subba in the 92nd minute.

It was the third international goal for Wilson, who came on in the second half for her first national team appearance since the 2016 AFF Women’s Championship in Mandalay, Myanmar.

“The new players played well and initiated the first goal,” Maro said after his first match since being appointed for his second tour of duty as national women’s coach. “Our adjustments in the second half resulted in us scoring in the last five minutes.”

The result moved the Philippines a win shy of securing a spot to next year’s continental tournament in India. The Asian Cup will also serve as a qualifier for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Philippines wraps up its campaign Friday, Sept. 24 against Hong Kong.

Things looked gloomy early on for the Philippines after Chadhaury scored past keeper Inna Palacios nine minutes after the opening whistle.

Opportunities were begging throughout the match for the Filipinas until Annis and Wilson produced the all-important goals.

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