Malditas score tough win over Malaysia to open SEA Games campaign

Irish Navaja and the Malditas got their three points by their skin of their teeth as the host nation gave them a massive scare. (Photo by Kuala Lumpur 2017/Football Association of Malaysia)
By Kevin Estrada

The Philippines began their campaign in the women's football tournament in the 29th Southeast Asian Games, but not without a close fight with Malaysia to escape Shah Alam alive in a 2-1 win in UiTM Stadium.

Looking to end a 32-year medal drought Let Dimzon's Malditas were pushed to the limits by the host nation before getting away with all three points in round-robin play, their first win in the biennial meet since 2005.

They joined Thailand as the big winners on opening day, after the defending SEA Games and AFF titlists defeated Myanmar, 3-2.

Looking to score their second straight win against Malaysia since the 2015 AFF Championship was not an easy task at all, as it was all set for a goalless first half until Patrice Impelido headed the ball home in the second minute of time added on to put the visiting side in front.

Shell-shocked, the hosts regrouped at the restart and were rewarded just seven minutes into the second half, with forward Dandree Rofinus fired home her empty-net equalizer, taking advantage of Inna Palacio's absence inside the six-yard box.

But the parity will last for only twenty-two minutes as Camille Rodriguez finally got her second goal for the country after six years to put the Malditas up for good, looping her shot into the top corner, leaving Azurin Mazlan no chance to stop it.

Up next for the Filipinas are Vietnam on Thursday, 4:00 PM at the University of Malaya Stadium in KL.

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