|Sarina Bolden celebrates with her fellow Filipinas after scoring their go-ahead goal. PFF|
MANILA--The Philippine women's football team pulled off a major breakthrough in its rise on the Southeast Asian ladder, scoring a 1-0 win over Australia at the start of their AFF Women's Championship campaign on Monday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Sarina Bolden scored the breakthrough goal for the Filipinas as they stunned the Matildas, who sent in a young roster mainly composed of players from their under-23 program.
Eva Madarang found Bolden close enough to the goal and threw the ball at her.
Bolden then soared over two Matildas and headed the ball into the goal as Jada Mathysse-Whyman failed to save the shot.
The team that was formerly known as the Malditas, however, dodged a bullet in the end as the Matildas had one last crack at forcing the draw in stoppage time only that their free-kick hit the Filipinas' wall and time ran out on them.
Thailand 4 Indonesia 0
In the other opening day nightcap at the Biñan Football Stadium, Thailand made an early statement with a 4-0 thrashing of Indonesia.
Alisa Rukpinij led Thailand's charge with a brace that basically started and capped the team's domination.
Rukpinij opened Thailand's charge with a third-minute goal.
Tipkritta Onsamai made it 2-0 in the 10th minute, although it took a while before substitute Fasawang Kaetkeaw scored Thailand's third goal in the 69th minute.
Rukpinij finished with job with an 88th-minute goal to complete her brace.
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