Philippine team gets 2nd place in U14 Southeast Asia football championship
WELL DESERVED. The Philippine U14 National Girls Team celebrates their second place finish in the AFC U14 Southeast Asia championship. Photo by Ronald Whaley
HO CHI MINH, Vietnam – The girls from the Philippines were the surprise of the Asian Football Confederation U14 girls championship for Southeast Asia. They came in as underdogs and left in second place, one goal away from winning it all.
When the tournament ended Sunday night, June 15, Thailand had taken first place, followed by the Philippines, with Vietnam finishing third and Myanmar fourth.
The Philippines took the Fair Play Award for the tournament, which recognizes the team with “greatest respect for the game.” The most valuable player of the tournament was also from the Philippines: midfielder Joyce Demacio, who scored clutch goals and crucial saves in every game.
During Sunday’s night’s championship game the fast, skilled and very physical team from Thailand picked apart the Philippine team in the first half of the Sunday night championship game in Thong Nhat stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. With footwork like magicians, and lightning speed, the Thai girls kept their counterparts from the Philippines off balance.
The Thai girls were fast and skilled, but they were also very physical. The team from Thailand took every opportunity to deliver barely legal blows on the field of play and the Philippine team did not reciprocate. They delivered goals at 11 and 20 minutes.
The Philippines returned from a soul-searching half time break to rally in the second half. The hard fighting Philippine team started delivering some hard shots of their own, and moved the action to the Thailand side of the field. During the second half, Arantxa Mari Trebol of Cebu City scored the first goal for the Philippines at 51 minutes.
The Philippines battled it out until the last seconds, nearly scoring on multiple occasions but the fast and fierce Thai girls were able to hold onto their lead.
In the run-up to Sunday’s championship, the Philippines defeated Singapore 6-0, Cambodia 5-0 and defending champions Vietnam 1-0. In the semifinals, the Philippines defeated Myanmar 2-1.
The 18 girls on the Philippine national team were chosen based on nationwide tryouts.
They are 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. – Rappler.com