Filipinas brought in the first goal but focused on the second half after Bolden’s hat trick

Defender Hali Long (No. 5) of the Philippines was pulled out of position by Indonesian striker Selly Wunungga.  —PICTURES OF EMPLOYEES

Defender Hali Long (No. 5) of the Philippines was pulled out of position by Indonesian striker Selly Wunungga. —PICTURES OF EMPLOYEES

The Philippines will now shift its focus to the upcoming big games after securing a place in the semi-finals of the ASEAN Women’s Football Championship on Sunday.

But the 4-1 win over Indonesia in front of 1,474 fans at Rizal Memorial Stadium didn’t come without moments of anxiety after a goalkeeper howl sent Filipinas falling behind at halftime.

However, coach Alen Stajcic was pleased to see his side respond in the final 45 minutes, with Sarina Bolden’s hat-trick turning the game into a convincing opener for the hosts.

With the 4th win in 4 matches and 12 points to stay at the top of Group A, coach Stajcic’s army entered the most exciting match when facing a difficult opponent Thailand in the Philippine schedule.

Resilience is a quality Stajcic and Co hope to show when that game comes on.

“I’m glad we were able to come back from behind,” Stajcic said. “It’s important in the team to stay calm and composed because football doesn’t always go your way. For us to be able to play 4-1 is a good sign for us. “

Favored to win, Filipinas found himself in the 37th minute when Inna Palacios let go of a Chantelle Maniti back pass for Indonesia’s Carla Bio Pattinasarany to score the opener.

After her efforts, Bolden quickly redirected credit to her teammates. “[Being] at home with the national team so it’s quite special. I am very proud of it. But I can’t do it alone but because of the beautiful assists that have been given to me. “

It was a great moment for the hosts, especially after creating three previous wins with a combined 12-0 scoreline, including 7-0 and 4-0 scores over Singapore and Malaysia.

“I think they (Indonesia) were the better team in the first half and they deserved the lead,” admitted Stajcic.

It was the reality check the Filipinas needed before half-time, and it didn’t take long for them to equalize early in the second half when an unmarked Tahnai Annis scored from a Sofia Harrison cross.

Bolden then put in a performance in front of a boisterous audience as she scored the opener with a quick right-footed shot from Sara Eggesvik’s cross in the 58th minute.

Two more goals in the 65th and 67th minutes gave the striker his second three career goals in a national team shirt, the first since the match against Malaysia at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. in Binan, Laguna.

The Australian mentor said: “It’s good to show resilience and bravery and come back in the end with a win.

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