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Returnees take over as Malditas pull off epic comeback to beat Nepal

Camille Wilson won it for the Malditas. AFC
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Just when everyone was about to concede a potential major upset loss by the Philippine women's football team, its returning players turned the tides at the death.

Tahnai Annis and Camille Wilson announced their comeback to the Malditas in style, scoring late goals to give their team a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Nepal at the start of Group F play in the AFC Women's Asian Cup qualifiers at the JAR Stadium in Tashkent on Saturday.

Annis and Wilson, who were not with the Malditas during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in Binan, ignited the national team's comeback right at the final moments of the match.

The Malditas, who finished just shy of qualifying for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup after finishing sixth in the 2018 AFC Women's Asian Cup, were in early danger of missing the 2022 WAC at all when Balima Chaudhary headed in a ninth minute goal off a cross to put Nepal up.

The 108th-ranked Nepali side looked poised to score a shocker over the 68th-ranked Filipinas after the former's defense forced the latter to some sloppy attacks.

However, come the 90th minute, Annis, who was with the Malditas' 2018 WAC team, struck a close range shot to tie the match at 1-all.

Then in the second minute of the five-minute stoppage time, Jessica Miclat, who received the ball at point-blank range off a cross, attracted the Nepali backline just enough to find Wilson, who last played for the Malditas in the 2016 AFF Women's Championship, open for the game-winner.

The Malditas can book their place anew in the WAC if they beat 78th-ranked Hong Kong on Friday.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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