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Filipinas drop 4 on Pakistan to start Paris '24 bid

By Drew Malihan

MANILA--The Philippine women's national football team opened their Paris Olympics qualifying campaign on a high note as they drubbed Pakistan 4-0, at the Hisor Central Stadium in Dushanbe, Tajikistan on Wednesday night.

It was a dominant showing from the Filipinas as almost all of the action happened inside the Pakistani half with the girls in blue in control for most of the possession.

Red Star's Quinley Quezada attempted an early tenth minute shot after some quick short passes from her teammates but found the hands of keeper Rumaysa Khan instead, while Sofia Harrison and Sarina Bolden's connection in the 15th minute went to naught.

It was until the 22nd minute when captain Tahnai Annis conducted the set piece, where Rumaysa did not cleared it fully and saw Bolden, who attracted all the defense and finds co-captain Hali Long for a quick downward header to break the ice 1-0 for the blue side.

Three minutes later and it was Bolden's goal as Eva Madarang found her for another header for a quick 2-0 for the Filipinas.

Madarang herself went into the zone as she capitalized on a wide space from the rather passive Pakistani defense, with the defender making a screamer of a goal in the 29th minute and give a commanding 3-0 lead for the Philippines, which lasted until halftime.

The score stayed on for the next 56 minutes of normal playing time until substitute Chandler McDaniel, who came aboard in the 60th, pounces on a Quinley Quezada set to make it 4-0 for the girls in blue.

Aside from the returning McDaniel, Bella Pasion also made her first appearance and start for the senior notional team as the 16-year old from Lebanon Trail High School starred in the midfield, while backup keeper Kiara Fontanilla did not see much action on her side of the net.

Up next for the Filipinas is the host Tajikistan, ranked number 144, on Saturday.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner

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