VIENTIANE (13 May 2017) – Philippines confirmed their arrival into the semi-finals of the AFF Under-15 Girls’ Championship as group winners when they whitewashed Singapore 3-0 to maintain their perfect record of three wins from three matches.
But what made the win for the Philippines girls more outstanding was the fact that they did not concede a single goal enroute to their passage to the next round.
“We are of course very happy to make the semi-finals as we have met our initial target of winning all our matches,” said Philippines head coach Marielled Benitez.
“There are some things which we need to work on obviously, where the finishing still needs some polishing.”
The pressure was always going to be on Singapore to deliver against one of the best organised teams in the competition this year.
But with the likes of Dorcas Chu and Putri Nur Syaliza Sazali a little off colour on the day, it allowed the Philippines more possession and space to push the ball around.
And it did not take them too long to get on the score sheet when Arianna Lepage banged in a 10th minute cross from Kassandra Kalamea.
In full control and with no danger of losing the battle at the centre of the park ably commanded by the lanky Myria Garcia, the Philippines came at the Singapore defence three minutes later but the attempt from Alexander Yap was saved by keeper Azura Azlan.
The best that Singapore could muster was a defensive lapse on the part of the Philippines defence in the 35th minute but with only the goalkeeper to beat, striker Danelle Tan just could not find the finishing touch.
Philippines continued their dominance into the second half and with several chances missing the intended target, it was only in the 62nd minute that they were able to add to the score line with Myria heading in the cross from Yap.
Five minutes later, the Philippines completed and celebrated their comprehensive victory with a dipping shot from Cera Mendoza to beat Azura Azlan for the third time on the day.