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THE SEA IS NOW THEIR DOMAIN | Realizations of Filipinas' conquering campaign to AFF Champions

The new proclaimed Queens of Southeast Asia. | PFF

By: Gil Moriones

Since their iconic qualification of the Philippines' first-ever World Cup and their paid effort to end the medal drought of the country in the recent Southeast Asian Games, the once-called Malditas proved their worth in front of the 8,257 Filipinos that witnessed the establishment of fortress paved the way to recognize the new sovereign of the women's football in their entire Southeast Asia, for the first time, ever.  

Lead by the head strategist and decorated Alen Stajcic, the considered "Masterclass in Manila" was manifested in their entire campaign that ended more than one goal per match and of course, the stats dictated their gameplay.  

At this portion, what are the takeaways that could inspire the fans to look forward in their future endeavors? 

Sarina Bolden scored 8 goals in this tournament. | PFF


Sarina Bolden, who wear the kit number 8, scored 8 goals to end the tiff as the lone top goal scorer. She showed more lungs in the attacking mode geared with her speed and precise attacks that makes her threat in the opponent's defensive ends. She has now 16 international goals including her convincing hattrick vs. Indonesia that lifts the Filipinas to the semifinals. 

Hali Long scored the first goal vs. Vietnam off the corner. | PFF


Set pieces, especially corner kicks, was our lethal weapon in our brilliant goals, especially vs. Vietnam. The fielding of Tahnai Annis and Sara Eggesvik proved their dimes off the corner in finding targets to brawl to the net. One of six goals vs. Singapore, two of four goals vs. Vietnam, and one of our three goals are from the corner kick. 


Instead of dismay of our concluding loss vs. Thailand in the group stage, no worry about since non-bearing game and regardless of everything, the Philippines will compete in the semis which set to date with the defending champs, Vietnam. Bolden and Annis were not played in the entire coverage and after that loss, it was incidentally eliminated the youngsters of Australia which served as the threat if in case they qualified to the KO stage. 

Adjustments were the one of the winning highlights of the tournament. Manifested in the must-win vs. Indonesia, three midfielders was summoned to the field, Eggesvik, Katrina Guillou, and Jaclyn Sawicki, and they facilitated the hattrick groove for Bolden that made them qualified to the semis. 

And with finals with Thailand in an all-out war on finals night, everything was purely dominated, no luck applied, due to credit efforts in disconnect every Thai's possession and more on fine passing between the flanks for the Filipinas. 

At this point, Eggesvik, Sawicki, and Guillou, were the demons in playing the midfield in their accurate dimes. While Isabella Flanigan, Quinley Quezada, Eva Madarang, and Annis are involved in the impressive total football showcased by the Filipinas in this entire tournament. 


The fact that we conceded two goals, vs. Indonesia and Thailand, in this entire tournament, it was originated from the defensive errors which minimize and totally absence in their semis and finals tour. Thanks for the personnel adjustment replacing the defender with heights and have hustle sense like Sofia Harrison. 

The communication in the backline was an impressive, heeding the calls from each other, and the defensive synchronization was defied although they were been penetrated in both flanks. 

This means that our opponents cannot score a goal through any of their solid shot-on-goal attempts. Thus, much to say that Filipinas' defense was improving overtime since Day 1 vs. Australia, without compromising any discipline and keenness, especially in giving fouls. 


Filipinas did not pull of any miracle in their win vs. Vietnam and Thailand, the two powerhouse in the ASEAN Football. The manner of how the Filipinas' win this tournament sends the strong statement. Filipinas earned 4-1 standings at the Group Stage, although being trailed by Thailand, we have 14 GD - the highest in the Group Stage.  

While in the match vs. Vietnam, four goals was not just too much for Golden Star Women Warriors to dethrone in their defending seat but the fact that were being dominated event in the stat sheets. 

Without any Cinderella-run, the Philippines proved themselves as the World Cup contender in their superb playing control in the pitch. In the way that they conquered the pitch, that's the queen things to do. 

Ultras Filipinas manifesting #PilipinasMalupet | Ultras Filipinas 

ULTRAS FILPINAS - Our 12th woman. 

Live football is not complete without the serenade and chants from Ultras Filipinas. With their patriotic and heart-felt jingle, everyone in the stadium fazed and sing along with them. The chants praising players like Sarina Bolden caught the attention in their impromptu composition and other notable chants which make themselves a trendy one in the entire tournament.

In their call, "Ikaw na lang ang kulang" - they urge and welcome everyone to join with them and follow through in supporting our national teams, not just for Filipias and Azkals.  

For a dreaming country who wanted to become football-nation like our opponents, Ultras Filipinas will be the catalyst of that transition as Stajcic, on his interview, declared, "Football is alive in the Philippines." 

Disclaimer: My views, opinions, and takes in this articles does not represent the Dugout Philippines as a whole.  




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