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Matildas prove might, superiority vs. Malditas

Ryley Bugay and Sam Kerr raced with each other to chase the ball. AFC
By Gil Moriones

MANILA--An impressive goalless deadlock given by the Philippine Malditas at the end of first half was the triggering point for the Australia Matildas to resolve and cut everything from the potential upset as they won with a convincing 4-0 result in the AFC Women's Asian Cup in Mumbai Football Arena in Mumbai, India, Monday evening. 

With the dominant win of the Aussies against the Filipina booters, the Matildas are now qualified for the quarterfinals of this tournament alongside with China PR and South Korea. 

The superb defensive showmanship of the team spearheaded by national tactician Alen Stacjic was the key consideration as it limited the Matildas to only 10 total shots with zero on-target despite the dominant possession percentage at the end of the first half. 

The current top goal scorer of the tournament Sam Kerr finally paid dividends after some failed attempts in the first half, as she her bullet header left Kiara Fontanilla no chance to save it from the set piece right corner by Steph Catley at 51st minute of the match. It was the sixth goal already tallied by the Chelsea forward. 

Dominique Randle somehow made matters worse for the Malditas as she committed an error in the defensive backline after being pressured by Emily van Egmond and Kerr and headed the ball into her own goal in the 53rd minute to put the Matildas up, 2-0. 

The Aussies essentially sealed the deal after they tripled the lead in the 68th minute, thanks to Van Egmond, w hat-trick scorer in their opener against Indonesia, who took the rebound and headed it to make sure it would be booted into the goalmouth after a nice block from Hali Long.  

Finally, it was Mary Fowler who scored the fourth goal for the Matildas after she received the header from Filipina defender as she rocketed her attempt with her left foot and the ball drilled into the left bottom of the goalmouth. 

The solid stance in the offensive highlights for the Philippines in their defensive-genre game was the right foot attempt for the forward Chandler McDaniel at the 5th minute which only went wide. McDaniel was hailed as the game winner in their match vs. Thailand last Saturday.

The Malditas are still holding their ground in 2nd place of Group B although they are sharing points with Thailand, who won against Indonesia in 4-0 margin afterward. The Malditas own the head-to-head tiebreaker due to their 1-0 win on Friday night.

The Philippines needs to win in their concluding match vs. Indonesia this Thursday to qualify for the knockout stage against the runners-up of Group A, either Iran or Chinese Taipei.   

Follow him on Twitter: @gilpuyatstation

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